Skip to main content

Full text of "The divine life and the new birth"

See other formats



, t 















v*\ fe 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 



(ftoagtiegation of (fftqist (fihutjch, Louisville,. 









August 1st, 1865. 


Two pamphlet editions of a material portion of this work, 
under the same title, were published in 1850. The same 
portion was afterwards incorporated into the volume entitled 
"Search of Truth." The original work, and some other of 
the more practical parts of the volume just named, form the 
basis of the present publication. To these materials large 
additions have been made upon kindred branches of Chris- 
tian knowledge, with the hope that the whole will prove to 
be a Manual adapted to the needs of our time. 

For the reception of my first efforts by the Church at 
large, and by many of her most gifted sons, I have been pro- 
foundly grateful. Much of the opposition which these pub- 
lications encountered proceeded from local disturbances which 
have long since passed away, and the rest, I think, from mis- 
apprehensions growing out of the excited temper of the times. 

Contention and party spirit may hardly ever be expected 
to cease from the Church, yet the perils of the present day 
have produced a very general conviction that Christians must 
come closer together to strive successfully for the faith once 
delivered. It is hoped, therefore, that all will welcome the 
feeblest effort to add to the unity and strength of the Chris- 
tian host, and to furnish a guide to inquiring souls. 



Note 4 

Introduction 9 


Redemption 15 

§ 1. Man Fallen and Redeemed IB 

I 2. The First and the Second Adam 2A 

g 3. The Second Adam is God and Man 25 

§ 4. The True Deity of Christ an essential part of the Doc- 

trineof Redemption 26 

§ 5. Consonance of this Adorable Mystery with the Far- 

Reaching Influence of Redemption 29 


The Kingdom of God 37 

g 1. Historical Retrospect 37 

#2. Establishment of The Kingdom 42 

# 3. Constitution of The Kingdom 45 

§ 4. The Kingdom of God a Witness to the Truth 50 

§ 5. Fatal Effects of Disregarding this Testimony 52 


Terms of Admission to the Way of Salvation 63 





Commencement of the Christian Life 70 

I 1. Three Gospels 70 

§2. Death of all Mankind in Adam 78 

# 3. Universality of Redemption 84 

§4- The Holy Ghost the Source of Life 85 

§ 5. Spiritual li*e imparted to all 86 

§ 6. The Divine Life and the Carnal Life co-exist — The con- 
flict between them 95 

§7. Baptism the New Birth 100 

§8. Objections considered 114 

§ 9. Practical Value of these Truths 125 

Probation and Reprobation 131 


The Romish Doctrine of Baptism considered more 
particularly 149 

Parallel between Baptism and Circumcision 156 


Additional Testimonies to the Universality of 
the Divine Life 164 

Old and New Testament — Justin Martyr — Tertullian 
— Clemens Alexandrinus — Bishop Ridley — John 
Calvin — Jeremy Taylor — Bishop Horsely — Olshau- 
sen — Bishop Harold Browne — Bishop Seabury — 
Bishop Ravenscroft — Bishop H. U. Onderdonk — Dr. 
Jarvis — Bishop Otey. 

Justification by Faith 190 




The Doctrine of Election 198 

§ 1. Divine Decrees and Human Freedom 198 

§ 2. The Gospel does not Entertain, much less Decide this 

Problem of Nature 200 

§3. Jewish Doctrine of Election 205 

I 4. The Bible Doctrine of Election 205 


The Baptism of Infants, and Christian Nurture.. 209 

Confirmation 217 


The Application of the Gospel to Adult Persons 
who are not christians 225 

§ 1. Practical Evils of the Theory which refers the begin- 
ning of Spiritual Life to the Period of Conversion 225 

§ 2. Repentance, Faith, and Conversion, as applied to this 

class of Persons 228 

§ 3. Popular Fallacy in regard to Conversion 229 

§ 4. The Bible Representation of this Grace 231 

§ 5. A popular objection to submitting to the Terms of the 

Gospel 233 

§ 6. Physical Analogies to the Divine Life in the Soul of 

Man 237 

§ 7. Common Excuses for Refusing to Enter upon a Chris- 
tian Life 239 

Worship 244 

§ 1. ItsNature 244 

§2. Public Worship. A Liturgy 248 

\ 3. Family and Private Worship 255 




The Lord's Supper 258 

£ 1. A means of Grace and not a Testimony of Holiness.. 258 

£ 2. A Eucharistic and Commemorative Sacrifice 260 

§3. Priest and Priesthood 263 

§ 4. Power of Absolution committed to the Priesthood... 271 

$5. Institution of the Lord's Supper 274 

§ 6. The Eomish Doctrine of Sacrifice 277 

§ 7. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the Partici- 
pation of Christ 279 

§ 8. Qualifications for partaking of this Sacrement 285 


The Creed 287 

§ 1. One Faith 287 

§2. The Bible not a Creed 298 

§ 3. The Bible not the only Witness of the Creed 299 

§ 4. The Creed not an Ecclesiastical Development 300 

£ 5. The Theory of Development inconsistent with "One 

Faith" 301 

§ 6. The Apostolical Origin of the Creed proved by the 

Necessity of the Case 304 

§ 7. Expressions in Scripture which plainly refer to the 

Creed 305 

§ 8. The Creed Proved as a Fact in all the Ancient 

Churches 308 

§9. The so-called Athanasian Creed , 312 

§ 10. The Doctrine of the Trinity as set forth in the 

Creed 314 


Divine Revelation an Appeal to Human Reason. 320 

Church and State 334 



Christian Unity 346 

1. Cause of Divisions 346 

2. All Truth objective and independent of Human Con- 

ception 351 

3. The Church the Pillar and Ground of the Truth 354 

4. The History of Corruptions 356 

5. The English Reformation an Appeal to the Catholic 

Church 357 

6. Formation of the Romish Sect 358 

7. All Christians hear Testimony to the Objective Truth. 360 

8. Remote Antiquity of this Divine Provision 362 

9. The Objective Truth thus witnessed not the Subject 

of Compromise 364 


Effect of the Incarnation upon Human Nature. 3 

£ 1. The Older Religions recognize the Incarnation 4 

\ 2. The Augustinian Theology obscured the Doctrine 

of the Incarnation 5 

\ 3. Speculative Views concerning Original Righteous- 
ness and Original Sin 7 

§ 4. Modern Theories a reproduction of Ancient Heresies 

concerning the Incarnation 9 

§5. History of the Doctrine 10 

$ 6. Human Nature acted, suffered, and triumphed in 

Christ '. 13 

\ 7. Further Testimonies to the Effect of the Incarnation 

on Human Nature 17 

\ 8. Synodical Action of the Church of England on this 

Question 19 

§9. Bishop Andrews. 23 

§ 10. Richard Holt Hutton 24 

§ 11. Baptism and the Agency of the Church in the 

Matter of Salvation 28 

Objections to this View of the Incarnation 34 

§ 1. Article 13 34 

\ 2. A New Translation of St. John iii, 3-5 35 



§ 3. The Words of St. John i, 12 36 

\ 4. A Transcendental Objection 38 

| 5. A World-wide .Field of Phenomena outside of Rev- 
elation to be accounted for 39 

§ 6. Humanitarianism 40 


Resignation in its Manifold Aspects 15 

g 1. Summary 45 

\ 2. Regeneration as the First Contact of the Divine with 

the Human Nature 46 

\ 3. Regeneration as the Conscious Choice of Good, and 

Rejection of Evil 52 

§ 4. Regeneration as the Admission of the Child of God 

into the Kingdom of God by Baptism 55 

\ 5. Regeneration as the Final Purification of the Re- 
deemed 57 

I 6. Difficulties 57 

§ 7. Language Incapable of such Precision as to Preclude 

Differences of Interpretation 62 


Incarnation as Expressed in the Holy Eucharist. 65 

§ 1. Truth embodied in Material Forms and Actions 65 

\ 2. Transubstantiation 67 

| 3. Theory of Identit}' or Union of Christ with the 

Elements 71 

$ 4. Illogical Appeal of this Party to the Letter of 

In st itution 74 

\ 5. The Real Presence as Taught by the Church 77 

\ 6. Pretended Authorities for the New Theory 81 

§ 7. Misrepresentation of the English Divines — Hooker, 

90; Ridley, 92; Bishop Andrews, 95; Cosin, 98; 

Drs. Pusey and Brevint, 99; Jeremy Taylor, 101; 

Thorndike, 102; Nicholson, 105; Hammond, 107; 

Beveridge, 109; Bishop Wilson Ill 

$ 8. The two Theories De Modo a sad trifling with a 

Holy Mystery Ill 

§9. Recapitulation ... .. 115 

Canon Liddon on the Local Presence 121 


In The Christian Remembrancer (London, January, 1863), 
there is a very noticeable article in relation to the famous 
"Essays and Reviews." The writer affirms, and, I think, 
proves, that Modern Skepticism is a natural reaction from 
the narrowness of the popular theology. He further under- 
takes to show that "the genuine theology of Christ and His 
Church" is not liable to the assaults of this skepticism; and 
he therefore counsels, as its most effectual refutation, a re- 
form of the popular theology, so as to make it the real 
teaching of Christ and the Church. A position very similar 
to this was taken by Dr. M'Cosh and other eminent men, at 
the meeting of the Evangelical Alliance, in Edinburgh, in 
July, 1864. 

It is gratifying to find that this truth is beginning to be so 
generally perceived by the leaders of religious opinion in the 
mother country. A profound conviction of the same truth 
induced the writer of the following work — first in 1850, and 
then in 1855 — to throw in his little mite towards the correc- 
tion of that popular theology as it is professed in our own 
country. In those publications an attempt was made to 
prove that the Bible and the Church teach a religion far 
more catholic, and better adapted to human need and intelli- 
gence, than much of the prevalent theology of our time. 


In speaking thus freely of systems which have so exten- 
sively prevailed, let us not forget that the most injurious 
dogmas of some of them were the result of a violent reaction 
of the Christian mind from that deadly form of ecclesiastical 
pharisaism which destroyed all the individuality of the 
human soul, and degraded religion into a superstitious round 
of propitiatory observances. Thus our nature is ever oscil- 
lating between two vicious extremes, and is with the utmost 
difficulty stayed in the just equilibrium of pure and simple 

It was not from books or reviews that my knowledge ot 
the truth, announced from these various quarters, was prin- 
cipally derived. A familiar intercourse with many of the 
educated and uneducated men of America had made me 
acquainted with their thoughts and feelings, their doubts 
and perplexities; and, although downright infidelity was 
comparatively rare, yet there was among the educated classes 
a reasonable and intelligent repugnance to the popular relig- 
ion, as something outside of their nature and inconsistent 
with their deepest convictions. This made them insensible 
to all the appeals of the Gospel, because those appeals were 
based upon a system which they could not reconcile with the 
facts of observation and consciousness. To this class my 
little book was addressed, and I have the happiness of know- 
ing that, within the limited sphere of its circulation, it gave 
effectual relief to many inquiring minds. 

It is painful to be compelled to say that the specific rem- 
edy proposed by the Remembrancer for the evil it has pointed 
out seems to be partial, one-sided, and insufficient. For one 
false system it has substituted another just as narrow, and 
just as much in conflict with human experience and human 
consciousness. In place of one set of dogmas, restricting 
the grace of Grod and the operations of His Spirit to the 


elect, or to the converted, it proposes the Romish theory, 
which restrains these and other benefits of the incarnation 
and sacrifice of Christ to the baptized members of His 
Church. The writer says: "It is to the Sacraments that 
man must look, both for the beginning and the continuance 
of Divine Grace. In Baptism Grace is first infused." 

The maintenance of such opprobria of technical theology 
as this and the opposite prevailing theories, each contradicted 
alike by human consciousness and by universal experience, 
the swaying back and forth of such large parties between 
indefensible opinions, unhappily confounded with Christianity, 
are among the chief causes which have alienated multitudes 
from Christianity itself, and raised up in the Church a school 
of such latitudinarian construction as almost to take away 
the foundations of the Christian religion. 

To claim for the baptized, or for a class deemed elect, or for 
the professedly converted, an exclusive interest in the work 
and mediation of Christ ; to declare that in these alone the Spirit 
of Christ resides to guide and instruct them, while men just 
as good, and in some instances a great deal better, exhibiting 
far more genuine evidences of the work of the Spirit in their 
temper and conduct, are represented as having as yet received 
no benefit from the incarnation and death of Christ, and as 
utterly destitute of the Spirit of life, is to expose Christianity 
to contempt and denial. "By their fruits ye shall know 
them" is at least one Christian rule which the world univer- 
sally applies. To take a community whose members are 
living and acting together apparently on the same principles 
and in the very same way, and separate them by an arbitrary 
line so broad and deep, that all on one side are declared to be 
the special favorites of heaven, guided and illuminated by 
the Spirit of God dwelling in them, while all on the other 
*ide are represented as abandoned to the polluting force of 


natural corruption and to the absolute dominion of the devil. 
is so manifestly false, so utterly irreconcilable with the facts of 
the case, as to provoke opposition and to challenge rejection. 

Instead of these narrow and insufficient theories, the 
Scriptures and the Church teach that the Grace of God is 
co-extensive with the sinfulness of man — that the quicken- 
ing power of the Second Man, who is the Lord from heaven, 
is equal to and parallel with the destroying and death -entail- 
ing influence of the first man — that the healing virtue of the 
Second Representative of the human race is commensurate 
with the taint and corruption derived from the first. There- 
fore, all who die without actual sin are undoubtedly saved, 
because they are Christ's. Therefore, He said, "Suffer little 
children to come unto me" — not to make them His, but 
because they were His already — "for of such is the kingdom 
of Heaven." 

As Christ tasted death for every man, so He sends His 
ministers to preach the Gospel, not to insensible reprobates, 
not to the mere carnal mind, which can not discern spiritual 
things, but to the partakers of His own nature — to men 
made alive in Him, quickened by the Holy Ghost, and thus 
imbued with spiritual power to apprehend, believe, obey, and 
love the truth. Therefore, every man who commits sin re- 
sists and strives against the Spirit given unto him, else he 
could be in no condemnation for his sin. The Spirit of Christ, 
given to all, places all alike in a state of trial and probation 
for heaven or for hell; and the rule of judgment will be the 
use which each man has made of his opportunities to be and 
to do good, under the guidance of that Spirit of Life and 
Light. In this rule is involved the Divinely enunciated 
principle, that to whom much is given, of him, and of him 
alone, will much bs required. 

Between this teaching and the human consciousness there 


is no repugnance, but a perfect and delightful harmony; and 
this teaching of the Bible and the Church would seem to be 
the most effective way of bringing men to Christ; for when 
they know that all the good they feel and enjoy is the wit- 
ness of the Spirit of Christ within them, who would thus draw 
them to Himself, to make them partakers of His eternal 
blessedness, and that a refusal to come to Him will deprive 
them forever of that Spirit, and leave them to the baseness 
and darkness and misery of unrelieved corruption, every right 
and generous feeling, every sense of beauty and goodness, 
every aspiration after nobleness and true greatness, will draw 
them to Him who is the Fountain of Life, the Regenerator 
of humanity, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. 

The state of opinion among all cultivated peoples requires 
that these important truths should now be brought promi- 
nently forward, as the best solvent of most of the religious 
questions of the age. To connect, logically and fairly, the 
broad catholic truths which are at the foundation of relig- 
ion, with that great fact in the history and method of re- 
demption, the Kingdom of God, "the Church which is His 
body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all," is the spe- 
cial object of the following work. Unless this connection be 
established, some minds will rest in the mere technicalities of 
Churchmanship, ignoring those truths, and thus exposing re- 
ligion to the contempt of the most enlightened portion of the 
community; while another class of minds will run off into 
that reckless rejection of all that is distinctive in Christianity, 
which characterizes the German and English rationalistic 
schools. The recognition of that Divinely ordained connec- 
tion leaves unimpaired those great catholic verities which 
belong to mankind, while it shows the imperative obligation 
of union with the Church, on the part of all those to whom 
the whole Gospel is sufficiently proposed. 


Now, in this period of unsettled opinion, when the human 
mind is breaking loose from the moorings of the past, is the 
time for the Church of God to show herself the conserver 
and advocate, not only of a certain class of positive truths, 
but of human freedom as well. "Where the Spirit of the 
Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Cor., iii, 17.) Let the world 
see that in the Church alone is true liberty, that her teach- 
ings are the noblest and only genuine catholicity. 

The objection to some of the conclusions of this work, 
that we must not attempt to be wise above what is written, is 
sufficiently answered by a proposition just as true, that we 
are bound to seek for wisdom enough to understand what is 
written. And when human systems of theology so interpret 
certain positive and general expressions of Scripture as to 
make them assert contradictory propositions, and to be at 
variance with the very principles upon which all Scriptural 
teaching is founded, then it is obvious that these systems 
have perverted and misunderstood what is written : and it is 
of essential consequence to bring the Christian mind back to 
the comprehension of that which God's blessed Word does 
really and truly teach. This duty is the more imperative 
when it becomes apparent in the progress of society that this 
unwarranted change of the meaning of God's Word is a cause 
of offense and a formidable obstacle to the candid reception 
of the Gospel. 




The central fact of all Revelation is the Redemption of 
mankind in Christ Jesus. The fact of the redemption of 
gi. Man Fallen man presupposes two other facts as its rea- 
and redeemed. son an( j foundation. First, the upright cre- 
ation of man; and, secondly, his fall from that condition. 
These are not mere doctrines, but facts. God created man 
in His own image, and a part of that image was the power 
to know Him as God, and to trust in Him as Good. This 
power is Faith, the very highest exercise of human reason 
and affection. Humau reason perceives and decides upon the 
evidences of truth. The purest exertion of human affection 
is to love and trust in that God — that Infinite Good — whom 
the truth reveals. So false is the notion that faith and rea- 
Bon are antagonistic; true faith is the highest reach, the 
noblest exercise of reason. That such a faculty as Faith 
belongs to man, either in a sound or in a diseased state, is 
certain ; for he attempts to exercise it. And every abortive 
attempt is just as much a proof of the Original existence of the 
faculty, as a successful exertion of the same faculty would be. 

The second fact assumed and presupposed by the great fact 
of Redemption is, the fall of man — the depravement, the vitia- 


tion of his whole nature, of all his powers, faculties, and 
affections. Of this fact every man has the witness in himself, 
in the consciousness of his own imperfection, frailty and sin- 
fulness. It is a fact strongly written upon every page of 
human history. The credulity with which men have ever 
adopted the vilest religious impostures is an especial attesta- 
tion of this fact. For one of the most melancholy parts 
of this superinduced pravity of human nature is the conver- 
sion of faith into credulity. Credulity is the vitiated, the 
corrupted state of faith. Faith, as we have seen, is the 
exercise of human reason apprehending truth upon suffi- 
cient evidence, and of human affections moving towards the 
good thus apprehended. Credulity is the effort of infirm 
reason, accrediting falsehood upon insufficient evidence; and 
of corrupt affections seizing hold upon the falsehood thus 

Now, as when you prove that a man has a broken limb, or 
a diseased organ, you as certainly prove the existence of the 
limb or of the organ ; so the universal prevalence of that cre- 
dulity which, in every age, has admitted and relied upon the 
grossest impostures, proves both the great facts which we have 
stated, viz : the original gift to man of that noble faculty by 
which he was enabled to apprehend and love the truth ; and 
tne corruption of that faculty which induces him rather to 
receive and to trust in a falsehood. 

The Redemption of man, by some Divine intervention, from 
this ruin is, again, a fact, the proof of which is patent and 
inscribed upon the whole history and condition of the race. 
For, if truth is at all received among men, and has ever tri- 
umphed over error; if real goodness is loved, and genuine 
Godliness is practiced, these are facts which prove the more 
general fact of this Divine restoration of humanity. For, a 
bitter fountain can not send forth sweet waters; a diseased 


organ can not* perform a healthy function; imbecile credulity 
can not convert itself into enlightened faith. 

The corruption of human nature is abundantly proved by 
many phenomena of our being. But it is strikingly and 
mournfully manifested in the history of revealed religion. 

The common dealing of man with religion has ever been to 
corrupt and debase it. This could only be true upon the sup- 
position that the human heart and mind are essentially corrupt. 

It is a popular fallacy that the lowest forms and concep- 
tions of religion are to be found in the infancy of society and 
of the race. The evidence of history proves, on the contrary, 
that the nearer you approach, in time and place, to the origin 
of the human race, the purer is the religion of the people. 
An unintended testimony to this fact was given lately by an 
antichristian writer in the Westminster Review, who was obliged 
to confess that the religion and morality of the book of Job 
were nobler, purer, and more refined than the most beautiful 
speculations of modern philosophy* 

* "In the writer of the Book of Job there is an awful moral earnestness, 
before which we bend as in the presence of a superior being." " If we ask our- 
selves how much during this time has been actually added to the sum of our 
knowledge in these matters, what — in all the thousands upon thousands of ser- 
mons, and theologies, and philosophies, with which Europe has been deluged — 
has been gained for mankind beyond what we have found in this very book of 
Job, for instance; how far all this has advanced us in the 'progress of human- 
ity,' it were hard, or rather it is easy to answer. How far we have fallen below, 
let Taley and the rest bear witness ; but what moral q\iestion can be asked which 
admits now of a nobler solution than was offered two, perhaps three thousand 
years ago." — Westminster Review, for October, 1853. p. 233. American edition. 

The same writer frequently speaks, with hearty scorn and contempt, of the 
dogma of "the corruption of humanity," as "a lie." But in another part of 
the same article he furnishes this strong testimony to the truth he had thus 
boldly denounced : " But it seems from our present experience of what — in some, 
at least, of its modern forms — Christianity has been capable of becoming, that 
there is no doctrine in itself so pure but what the poorer nature which is in 
us can disarm and distort it, and adapt it to its own littleness." 

The article, like many of the writings of its class, has many noble thoughts. 
The great error, out of which all the capital for infidelity is made by this writer, 
is the quiet assumption that Calvinism is orthodox Christianity. 


This popular fallacy about the natural and progressive im- 
provement of religion, is founded upon a comparison of the 
state ( f religion among the barbarous tribes of men, living 
far beyond the bounds of civilization, and the state of relig- 
ion among those same tribes after they had become civilized 
and cultivated nations. But the comparison proves nothing 
at all, unless it could be shown that the civilization and relig- 
ious improvement of these nations proceeded from them- 
selves, without external help or prompting. But this fact, so 
indispensable to the validity of the popular conclusion, has 
never been shown, even in a single instance. The unvarying 
testimony of history upon this subject is, that every improve- 
ment of the religion of a people has been brought to that 
people from an external source. The Bible alone tells us 
whence came that light which has thus been gradually dif- 
fused among the nations, civilizing, refining, and elevating 
them. In every instance it was a distinct revelation from 
Grod — that revelation being made fuller and more complete 
under each dispensation of His Grace, according as it seemed 
meet to His unsearchable wisdom. 

In creating man, Grod conferred upon him all the gifts that 
were necessary to his well-being. He gave him, therefore, 
the true religion — the knowledge of God and of the subsist- 
ing relations between God and man. He bestowed this great 
benefit, as every other, to be used or abused, to be improved 
and cultivated, or to be deteriorated and lost, as men might 
determine for themselves, in the exercise of the fearful re- 
sponsibility thus thrown upon them. The history of the 
whole human race proclaims the melancholy fact that men. 
manifesting in this, as in other ways, the malign influence of 
their own apostasy, have universally corrupted the religion 
which God revealed. The effect of this corruption has been 
to make religion, indeed, more popular, more congenial to 


the natural heart ; but at the same time to take away, more 
or less, according to the extent of the vitiation, the purifying, 
life-giving, and elevating power of religion. And the true 
religion has only been preserved, pure and unadulterate, in 
the world, by the continual interposition of the Almighty, 
co-operating with ordinary human powers by supernatural 
agencies. For this purpose — to counteract the tendency of 
men to corrupt the true religion — God has given, in suc- 
cessive ages, prophets, apostles, written revelations, holy 
sacraments, and a divine society called the Church. 

"When men wandered away in tribes and families from the 
early seats of civilization and knowledge, they rapidly sunk 
into barbarism; and the religion which they took with them, 
already corrupted, became more stupid and senseless as they 
declined in intellectual and moral power. The plan of Divine 
Providence for the reclamation of these innumerable wander- 
ers has been to send them, by various human agencies, the 
truth which He had already revealed. 

Again, the upright creation of man is shown by the corre- 
spondence between human nature and the law of God. The 
fall of man is as plainly manifested by the opposition between 
his nature and that same holy law. 

Every man who examines thoroughly the moral law, sees 
that it is the law of his nature — the constitution of the 
Almighty written upon his soul, and demanding his obedi- 
ence. He finds that this law, if perfectly obeyed, would 
produce the highest development, and the greatest happiness 
of which his nature is capable. This correspondence be- 
tween a perfect law and the soul of man, proves that the soul 
was originally created as perfect as the law which is thus a 
part of its essential constitution. 

But every man finds that this same law, although evidently 
ordaioed to be a law of life, is to him a law of condemnation. 


because he has broken the law. Instead of securing, by obe- 
dience, the happiness it promised, and which it manifestly 
tends to produce, he has incurred its penalty by disobedience. 
He is compelled, therefore, to concur with St. Paul in the 
declaration, " The commandment which was ordained to life, I 
found to be unto death. Wherefore, the law is holy and the 
commandment holy, and just, and good." (Eom. vii, 10, 12.) 
But the creature for whom it was ordained has left his first 
estate — fallen from the uprightness which corresponded with 
the law, and finds himself now under the curse of that same 
holy, just, and good commandment. 

This is the plain teaching of nature, without the aid of 
revelation. The Word of God simply affirms the same thing : 
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our 
likeness." "So God created man in His own image, in the 
image of God created He him." (Gen. i, 26, 27.) Here 
was man perfect in himself, and with a perfect law adapted 
to his nature. Life and happiness were the conditions of obe- 
dience to this law; death and misery its penalties for disobe- 
dience. An external test and witness of man's continual 
allegiance to the law of life was at the same time appointed. 
"In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." 
(Gen. ii, 17.) After the disobedience and the expulsion from 
Paradise, "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in 
the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his 
heart was only evil continually." "And God looked upon the 
earth, and "behold it was corrupt ; for all flesh had corrupted 
his way upon the earth." (Gen. vi, 5, 12.) 

St. Paul tells us "There is none righteous, no, not one." 
"By the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to con- 
demnation." "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh 
be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge 
->f sin." (Horn, iii, 10, 20, and v, 18.) The Scriptural teach- 


lug upon this subject is therefore but the reiteration of the 
universal consciousness and observation of men. 

Christian religion assures us that a new element of life has 
been given to the race of mankind through the man Christ 
Jesus. An ancient and a modern heresy maintains that the 
corruption of human nature never was such as to prevent men 
from recovering themselves from the power of sin, and obeying 
perfectly the law of God. Without confronting this dogma 
with the clear testimony of Scripture, let it be tried by the 
single test of observation Let one community, in all the 
lone; catalogue of nations, be shown where this result has 
been accomplished. Let this result be shown, even in a 
single man, beyond the range of the Christian revelation. 
Christianity allows that the grace of God has appeared unto 
all. men, and that some gleams of revealed truth have been 
retained among all nations. By these facts she accounts for 
the good that is found in the most desperate conditions of 

If the hypothesis of the self-restorative powers of human 
nature be true, we. ought to see the full evolution and the 
complete success of these powers, in a fair proportion of 
cases, in every country. So far from making this exhibit, 
without which the hypothesis must be dismissed as utterly 
destitute of foundation, the actual phenomena are all in the 
opposite direction. No nation or tribe of men has ever been 
known to improve its religious system, or to make one single 
step in advance towards that object, without the assistance, 
direct or indirect, of Judaism or of Christianity — that is, 
•of Divine revelation. On the contrary, whenever communi- 
ties have been removed from the influence of this external 
aid, the only progress has been downward — their only change 
increasing degeneracy. 

This fact is the complete and utter refutation of the Pela- 


gian heresy, which claims for man a self-renovating power. 
But it displays in still bolder relief the strange absurdity of 
the position of some modern illuminati, which maintains that 
Christianity itself is the unassisted product of the human 
mind; and that, at the present stage of human progress, a 
new evolution, of a higher religion than Christianity, from 
the same teeming fountain, is required. But after eighteen 
centuries of Christian progress, where shall we look for a 
man superior to the man Christ Jesus, to be the author of 
this new religion, and the model of a higher style of 
humanity? Shall we take any one of the German trans- 
cendentalists? Or one of their English or American copy- 
ists? The proposition is painfully incongruous, and shows 
the blind credulity of dreaming unbelief. 

Jesus Christ is the only perfect man that has yet appeared 
upon the earth since the fall. He alone displayed in His 
whole life the entire correspondence between human nature 
and the Divine law. He alone was without sin. He is the 
author of redemption. God in Christ is the restorer of man, 
and the perfect model for our imitation and example. From 
Him is derived that new life, that quickening power, by which 
His followers are enabled to grow in likeness to Him. The 
same Spirit by which He was conceived in the womb of the 
Virgin and assumed man's nature, is given unto us to change 
that nature in us into the image of Himself, into the like- 
ness of his perfect manhood. 
„„ m _ It is impossible to understand the relation 

§2. The First r 

and the Second of man to the Gospel of salvation, unless we 
Adam. clearly recognize the antagonism, the conflict 

of opposing forces, in his present condition, resulting from 
these two great facts — the Fall and the Redemption. 

The creative act which brought into being the first man 
and his consort, involved likewise the successive existence of 


the countless' myriads of men who, in each generation, have 
lived, and acted, and suffered. The one fiat of creation goes 
on, extending and perpetuating its power, making the first 
man to live continuously in his posterity, and to fill the earth 
with the multitude of those who are identical with him in 
nature. This is a great mystery. 

This head and beginning of the human race, falling from 
original righteousness, was himself corrupt; and all his 
descendants are like him, in this, as in every other part of 
their nature. For his being is their being, his nature is 
their nature. What he was they are. By natural procrea- 
tion they have no other life or being than his. The incli- 
nation of this fallen and degenerate nature is to evil. Its 
tendency is downward. It spoils and defiles every thing 
it touches. The taint of sin pervades the whole mass of 
human feelings, interests, and pursuits. The noblest gifts of 
God, the purest, the holiest, the loveliest things of earth, it 
perverts, abuses, and pollutes. Cut off from God, the Foun- 
tain of Good, it goes, by the fatal momentum of its own 
evil disposition, further and further from Him. It continues 
to sink lower and lower in the scale of moral excellence, 
until, if no other power interposed, it would reach that lowest 
depth of degeneracy, which can say, "Evil, be thou my 
good." When this consummation of man's evil tendencies 
is reached, all possibilities of happiness and joy are at an end. 
The tortured slave of relentless passions will then passively 
submit to their control, and writhe in pitiable impotence be- 
neath their power. 

It is not permitted to man fully to realize this description ' 
of his natural state and of its result in this world. But 
every man is conscious of enough in his own nature and dis- 
position to enable him to verify the first part of it, as at 
least a partial description of himself. And a few persons 


are allowed to live, who, by long continued habits of 
iniquity, and of loathsome viciousness, have almost reached 
that horrid consummation of the evil tendencies of their 

Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift, that natural 
tendency to evil is but a partial account of man, in his pres- 
ent state, redeemed by the blood of Christ from the dominion 
of sin, from' the power of the Devil. There is a force within 
him which opposes this natural tendency to evil, and which, 
if unobstructed and obediently submitted to, will conduct 
overy man in the pathway of righteousness, to God, to 
heaven, and to happiness. This other force, this Divine 
power, this holier, Godward tendency, is derived, to the whole 
race of man, from the Second Adam — the man — who is the 
Lord from heaven. This also is a great mystery ! Not more 
mysterious, but more glorious than the other mystery of 
creative energy. "Since by man came death, by man came 
also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, 
even so in Christ shall all be made alive." "The first man 
Adam was made a living soul ; the last Adam was made a 
quickening spirit." "The first man is of the earth, earthy; 
the Second Man is the Lord from heaven."* "As we have 
borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image 
of the heavenly." (1st Cor. xv, 21, 22, 45, 47, 49 verses.) 

The first Adam was the Son of God by creation, and was 
made in the likeness of his Creator, and pronounced to be 
very good. By simple depravation he corrupted himself, 
sinking down from the Eternal Source of goodness and 
purity. As the progenitor of the human race had thus be- 
come the source of uncleanness and corruption to his pos- 
terity, God provides for the race of mankind a new beginning, 
a fountain of strength and holiness and purity. Christ is 
this second and nobler Adam—the new head and represents- 


tive of the human race, from whom and through whom all 
men derive the inclination and the power to do good. 

Who is this Second Man, this better and 

p. The Second > _ ' 

Adam is God purer fountain of humanity, the Regenerator 
and man. an( j R es torer of a fallen race? Is He a sec- 
ond creation, a new and faultless being, formed by the Al- 
mighty and sent into this world to teach men how they should 
live, and what they should do? Then is he a stranger to our 
humanity, and has no claim to the title which He assumed — 
The Son of Man. And all the precepts of practical morality 
he delivered had been taught before. The Bible every-where 
negatives the hypothesis of a new creation, but tells of a 
Being all powerful, and doing His own will, who, because the 
creatures he would redeem were "partakers of flesh and 
blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that 
through death He might destroy him that had the power 
of death, that is, the Devil." (Heb. ii, 14—16.) 

The exalted Being who thus, by an act of his own will, 
took upon Him our humanity, is represented in the Scripture 
under the twofold relation of a Divine and a human nature. 
His true humanity is strongly insisted upon, and frequently 
declared. His Divine nature is not less emphatically men- 
tioned. The titles by which His Divinity is set forth, 
although very strong, are much less decisive upon this point 
than the attributes ascribed to Him. His eternity, His self- 
existence, His creative power, His omnipresence, His uni- 
versal sovereignty, His uncontrolled and omnipotent will, 
His right to the worship of all creatures, His occasional 
assumption of equality with .the Supreme Deity, drive us to 
one of three conclusions: either, 1. That Christianity iy a 
revelation of a system of idolatry — the elevation of a crea- 
ture to the place of the Creator in human estimation and 
regard; or, 2. That it is a revelation of a system of Poly- \ 


theism — the acknowledgment and worship of several Gods; 
or, 3. That it is a revelation of the old Christian Creed of 
One God in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; 
and that the second Person of this adorable Godhead, "for 
us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and 
was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and 
was made man;" became the second Head and Fountain of 
life, and strength, and purity, and power, to the race He 
essayed to redeem, to save and to ennoble. 

That the exigency of Divine and human 
§4. The True relations brought about by the sinfulness of 

Deity of Christ , „ , 

an Essential man was an adequate occasion tor the won- 

part of the drous condescension of God, manifested in 

the redemption of the world by the gift and 


sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, is shown by 
the fact that Infinite Wisdom so wrought our redemption; 
and certainly no conceivable exhibition of the atrociousness 
of sin and of the goodness of God could equal this. 

Goodness is the eternal and immutable condition of hap- 
piness to moral beings. Sin, by an eternal necessity, involves 
the forfeiture of that happiness. This truth, wrought into 
the constitution of every moral being, can only be fully 
known and apprehended by those who have felt the dread 
penalty of transgression. The meaning and purpose of re- 
demption is to bring man back to goodness, to God-likeness. 
To drive a reluctant sinner into heaven is a contradiction in 
terms. It is an incongruous mingling of antagonistic and 
mutually destroying propositions. Heaven is the place and 
the state of the good, of those who, being like God, love 
Him, and enjoy a portion of His happiness. 

To accomplish this redemption two conditions are required : 
1st. Man must see and understand the necessity of goodness, 
the odiousness, heinousness, and destructive power of sin. 


2d. M;m must be enabled to fulfill the first and great com- 
mandment of the law — " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and mind, and strength." Now it is in- 
compatible with man's intended restoration to holiness and 
happiness, to make him understand the first of these truths, 
by bringing upon him the penalty of sin, the curse of the 
law, the very destruction from which he is to be rescued. 
The Infinite God taking our nature, suffering in that nature 
for sin, and paying down in His own person a full satisfaction to 
the violated law, impresses in the strongest possible manner 
upon the soul of man, and proclaims to all created intelli- 
gences, these great truths — the absolute necessity of good- 
ness; the hatefulness and the destructive power of sin. 

This same exhibition of love accomplishes most effectually 
that other correlative condition of redemption, by furnishing 
to men the occasion and the power to fulfill the first and great 
commandment — " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart, and mind, and strength." Obedience to this law 
is the essential condition of happiness to all free and intelli- 
gent beings. But how shall a creature estranged from God 

DO o 

begin to fulfill it? How shall a being, the slave of sense, so 
apprehend the purely spiritual and eternal I am, as to be capa- 
ble of passing by all the objects of affection and delight with 
which God has surrounded his creatures, and fixing upon this 
impalpable and unapproachable Majesty the holiest and best 
affections of a heart that is but overwhelmed with amazement 
and awe at the contemplation of His greatness? The ques- 
tion is answered, and can only be answered in the mystery of 
Ihe Incarnation, in the mystery of the Cross. There the In- 
finite stoops to our necessities, descends to our apprehensions, 
veils in human flesh the majesty of the Godhead, becomes 
man as we are, sympathizes with every affection and feeling, 
*vith every pain, and sorrow, and joy of humanity. The 


question was answered by the blessed Savior Himself when, 
speaking of His death, He said: "And I, if I be lifted up 
from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." (St. John xii, 32.) 
It is God in Christ who draws to Himself the hearts of men. 

The Infinite God surely challenges the supreme affection 
of all men, because as man He can be known, and as man 
has manifested a love to them past conception. He chal- 
lenges our love, for " He- first loved us, and gave Himself for 
us, the Just for the unjust." He assumed our place as sin- 
ners, and suffered the punishment due to our offenses. The 
heroic girl who, with devoted affection, threw herself before 
the body of the man she loved, and received the ball of his 
adversary into her own bosom, undoubtedly deserved a return 
of affection only limited by the capacity of the heart of this 
man to love. Who can dispute her claim to his supreme 
affection but that glorious Savior who gave to her, from His 
infinite fullness, the sensibility and the power to merit this 
love, and who has proved His own affection in a manner yet 
more attractive and illustrious? Immanuel — God with us — 
the Eternal Son, suffering as man the woes of humanity, and 
thus relieving us from the bitter pains of eternal death which 
we had incurred, makes possible our obedience to the first and 
great commandment. 

Let, now, this Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of 
the world, be any created substitute, be other than God, and 
where would be the efficacy of this transaction to enable man 
to fulfill that great commandment? Our supreme affection 
would be given to the creature who had so loved ^ us, and so 
redeemed us. But our God, lifted up for our offenses, and 
drawing all men to him through the power of love, realizes 
in human experience the fulfillment of that command. Thus 
are men to be drawn to God. Thus they are to be made like 
unto Him by constant intercourse and communion with the 


Being whom they Love, And thus are they to acquire that 
nature — that Godliness — of which perfect happiness is the 
essential state and condition. 

Why should we falter at this conception of 

go. Consonance j 

of this adoka- the method of human redemption, except as 
ble mystery ^ human mind, in its present weakness, fal- 

with the Far- . 

Reaching In- ters a t the unveiled contemplation or every 
fluence of Re- f ac t f nature? We deal easily with super- 
ficial and transient appearances; but when we 
come to the permanent, the essential, the reality of being, 
the understanding fails and is incapable. Yet the same rea- 
son which conducts the mind to this point assures us of the 
certain existence of the permanent, the essential, the sub- 
stantial, which yet that mind can not conceive. 

Moral good and evil are facts which would seem — ex neces- 
sitate — to traverse the whole range of spiritual being. Moral 
good and evil — what are they but the preservation, or the 
violation, of the order of the entire spiritual universe! Can 
moral evil exist at all, in the slightest degree, at any point, 
without affecting the whole sphere of the intellectual crea- 
tion? If we can not answer this question absolutely in the 
affirmative, much less can we venture even a conjectural an- 
swer in the negative. All our conceptions of spiritual being 
would lead to an affirmative answer. 

Well, we have in this world a part of that spiritual crea- 
tion in which moral evil exists as a fact — a portentous 
fact — to which the woes, the crimes, and the groans of hu- 
manity have testified with terrific emphasis for six thousand 
years. Again, we have the proof, as strong as of any other 
moral truth, that the Creator of the material and of the 
spiritual universe has appeared, on the part of humanity, as 
X Participant in this conflict. In His own essential nature, 
car beyond our conceiving, He became man, that He might 


be the all-sufficient Helper of man in the effort to overcome 
moral evil — the poison of spiritual being, the destroyer of 
spiritual life. 

The contest is in its nature moral, and therefore precludes 
all possibility of a decision by mere force, by any sort of 
necessity, by resistless law, or by resistless influence. The 
almightiness, the mere power of God, finds here no place for 
action. It is essentially the struggle of a free, spiritual in- 
telligence against corruption, bondage, death— the struggle to 
throw off the poison that has permeated the whole nature, 
and is benumbing and destroying every power — the struggle 
to burst asunder the chains by which the soul has already 
been bound — the struggle to rise up from subjection to the 
power of an endless death to the conscious enjoyment of a 
new and glorious life. 

But if corruption, bondage, and death are already pres- 
ent — the actual condition of the soul — as all human con- 
sciousness, all history, and the revealed Word of God, concur 
in testifying, whence the power of resistance, whence even 
the desire to be free, and the living energy that can achieve 
freedom and conquer death? The answer to these questions 
is the glorious mystery of the Gospel. It is the mystery of 
the incarnation, by which God became man, and as man en- 
tered upon this all-concerning conflict; and in virtue of this 
union, and for the accomplishment of its sublime purpose, 
gave to all humanity the Holy Spirit as a fresh endowment 
of freedom, health, and life, from the primal fount of life and 
being. Thus the contest for freedom and health and life — 
the battle against moral evil — is perpetually renewed in every 
human being, with assurance of a triumphant issue to all those 
who receive and use this grace of God aright. 

Here a common objection comes, almost in the same lan- 
guage, from flippant ignorance and from vain-glorious wisdom. 


"What is the use of all this complicated machinery of salva- 
tion? If God willed the salvation of man, why did He not 
save him at once? If He desired the destruction of evil, why 
did not He, whose will is omnipotence, destroy it?" 

If we could do no more than point to this revelation as a 
proved communication from Heaven, that would be answer 
enough. That God appointed this complicated system is 
sufficient to satisfy any ingenuous soul that this is the true 
and the right way. But the futility of the objection may be 
shown even by a more conclusive answer. The objection it- 
self utterly ignores all the terms of the problem to be solved. 
It puts at defiance the very meaning of the words it uses. 
Apart from all teaching of the Word of God, the objection is 
naught, is worse than idle, because it contradicts the very 
nature of the thing about which it professes to speak. Moral 
evil could not be destroyed by a simple act of Omnipotence 
without destroying moral good as well, and so destroying the 
whole sphere of moral being, and reducing the Universe to 
one blank, dreary system of material necessity. 

The actual Universe is composed of two very dissimilar 
parts — matter, of which the essential condition is necessity, 
and spirit, of which the essential condition is freedom. To 
choose, to love, and to do right freely, is moral good, the 
happiness and glory of all spiritual intelligences. The power, 
therefore, to commit sin, to break the law of righteousness, 
to introduce moral evil into the Universe, is an essential con- 
dition of spiritual existence. 

Sin — moral evil — is here, in human nature, triumphing over 
it, and rioting in it. This is simply a fact. Can we wonder 
that the whole Universe of spiritual intelligences, more than 
commensurate, it may be, with the material world, beholds 
with awe-inspired interest, this portentous fact? 

Certainly the Eternal Father has looked upon it with in- 


conceivable interest — an interest which He has manifested by 
more than six thousand years of effective intervention on 
behalf of diseased humanity. From the nature of the case, 
as we have seen, this intervention could not be by an exertion 
of Omnipotence. In human nature was the evil, and in 
human nature must be found the remedy. To expel and 
conquer moral evil, the very nature, tainted and subdued, 
must be brought to choose, love, and do right freely. We 
do not, dare not say, that God was shut up to the one mode 
of effecting this result, which the Bible tells us He actually 
adopted. But we may surely affirm that this mode is sublime 
and glorious beyond all human imagining, and should be 
greeted with no other feeling than that of meek, adoring 

If the universe of spiritual intelligences contemplated with 
awe and consternation the ruin of a portion of their own nature 
by sin, what wondrous emotions of reverence and love must 
have thrilled through the whole realm of being when they be- 
held the transcendent plan by which sin was to be conquered, 
and truth and righteousness maintained. By the incarnation of 
the Son of God, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost, a new 
Divine Life was imparted to humanity, to enable it for the 
struggle, and to assure to it the victory in the conflict 
against sin and death. For many thousand years a prepar- 
atory dispensation preceded the full revelation of this adorable 
mystery. But in all that time its benefits were partially en- 
joyed by the subjects of this wondrous contest. 

Can we wonder that during all these ages the innumerable 
hosts of angels who dwell in the presence of God earnestly 
desired to look into this mystery? But when the Son of G<>d 
actually entered upon His mission of love and mercy, and on 
behalf of all spiritual being became man, "abhorred not the 
Virgin's womb," and submitted to all the incidents, weak- 


aesses, and miseries of the humanity He was to save and 
purify, what must have been the emotions of those adoring, 
conscious intelligences. Well might the Universe resound 
with the sublime anthem, "Glory to God in the highest, on 
earth peace, good will to man." 

This strange condescension of the Almighty is hard to be- 
lie've, it is said. And so it is. But it does not therefore 
follow that we ought not to believe it. The whole sphere of 
human belief is composed of inconceivable mysteries, which, 
when we try to understand them, escape from our mental 
grasp. "Come, now, and let us reason together, saith the 
Lord." (Is. i, 18.) Let us compare this Divine mystery with 
all other conceptions of Deity, and of the relations of that 
Deity to the Universe. 

The impotent efforts of ancient and modern philosophy to 
comprehend the Infinite have clearly demonstrated that it is 
not only impossible to conceive God as The Infinite Spirit, 
but that the attempt to do so leads to the conception of Him 
as an assemblage of contradictions, or as nothing. God can 
only be apprehended by the human mind in relation, which 
is a negation of the Infinite. And when, to attain the con- 
ception of the Infinite, we try to abstract from the Deity all 
relation, the issue is, as in several of the German schools, the 
"Absolute Nothing." 

Better than this have been most of the Polytheistic forms 
of religion that have prevailed in the world. All of these 
have been human corruptions and perversions of the prom- 
ised incarnation of Deity, and of those sensible manifestations 
of the Son of God which anticipated that incarnation. The 
facility with which the universal soul of man has seized upon 
this conception, and worked it up into innumerable forms of 
oeauty or hicleousness, proves that the conception is within 
the grasp of human powers. 


The third and most fatal of all the attempted conceptions 
of Deity either makes Him to be the soul of the world, so 
that He is alike in every thing, or identifies Him outright 
with the material universe. And this last is the actual issue 
of the ancient Asiatic philosophy, and of all the recent anti- 
Christian philosophy of Europe and America. 

Compare with these beliefs the humble but profound Chris- 
tian philosophy embodied in the creed of the Christian Church, 
and so touchingly expressed by the God-man himself, when 
an Apostle said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father and it 
sufficeth us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time 
with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He 
that hath seen. Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest 
thou, then, Show us the Father?" (St. John xiv, 8, 9.) 

Which now is noblest and most credible, God as nothing, 
the result of one philosophy? God as a mob of Divinities, 
according to another issue of human wisdom? God as every- 
thing, rock, and reptile, and all brute matter, the highest 
reach of the latest infidel speculation? Or, God a Spirit 
and a Person, becoming man, assuming, for a grand and 
beneficent purpose — a purpose that includes within its far- 
reaching scope the whole Universe of spiritual being — this 
ruined humanity of ours, that by such Divine indwelling 
man might successfully contend against and triumph over 
moral evil, and achieve for eternity freedom, holiness, 

Which of these beliefs best commends itself to a noble and 
ingenuous nature? And when we add to this vast difference 
between the quality of these several beliefs, that the former 
are but the vagaries of a wanton and wearied imagination, 
and that the last is accredited to us by an undoubted revela- 
tion from God, who will refuse to come with adoring humility 
and say, "Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief!" 


And if this be true, if the tremendous contest with moral 
evil, on behalf of the Spirit world, is waged by the Almighty 
in our human nature, then all other phenomena of being easily 
arrange themselves around this wondrous fact and in close 
subordination to it. 

With admirable significance was the earth formed and fit- 
ted, by ages of preparation, to be the theater of this mighty 
conflict. With increasing meaning, and in nearer sympathy, 
were all living creatures on this earth made, by the Divine 
pre-arrangement, to symbolize in their life and death the inci- 
dents of this fearful contest. Thus it was literally true that 
"by sin death entered into the world " long before that sin had 
actually been committed. And thus is the full meaning of 
that other wonderful declaration of St. Paul amply vindicated, 
"For we know that the ichole creation groaneth and travaileth 
in pain together until now: Because the creature itself also 
shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the 
glorious liberty of the children of God." (Horn, viii, 21, 22.) 
With prophetic vision of that glorious consummation, as 
we may believe, did Isaiah sing, "The wolf also shall dwell 
with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. 
and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; 
and a little child shall lead them. And the sucking child 
shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall 
put his hand on the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt 
nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be 
full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the 

" O, long-expected year ! begin ; 
Dawn on this world of woe and sin." 

Who will so frustrate the grace of God, and the capacities, 
sf his own redeemed nature, as to lie down in passive sub- 
mission to the bondage of sin and death, and refuse to enter 


upon that transcendent conflict with moral evil with which 
the Universe of being is in awful sympathy! Who will be 
so recreant to himself and to the infinite mercy of Grod as 
to choose evil rather than good, and with mean perverseness 
refuse, with the Lord of glory as his leader, to contend for 
life, freedom, immortality, happiness and Heaven! 




The Scriptures teach us that Christ came into the world 
at a prearranged period — in the fullness of time — when all 
gi. historical things were ready. One preparation for His 
retrospect. coming was the subjection of the most im- 
portant portions of the world to a common government, so 
that the greatest facility might be afforded for the establish- 
ment of that kingdom which, though not of this world, was 
to be set up in it, as the refuge and the home of diseased 

Another, and it may be a higher preparation for that 
coming of the Son of God, was that, in the previous ages, all 
the powers and resources of the human mind, and of human 
society, for the promotion of the well-being of man, had 
been tried to the utmost, under every variety of circumstance 
and modification, and had resulted only in disastrous and 
humiliating failure. 

The Patriarchal religion, and the earliest types of civiliza- 
tion, had settled down, in Eastern Asia, into the benumbing, 
crushing, and soul-withering systems of mingled superstition, 
atheism and pantheism, which we find there at the present 

Again and again, in Central Asia, in "Western Asia, on the 
Mediterranean shores of Europe and of Africa, to the fur- 
thest western coasts, as the tide of emigration rolled on to 


the Atlantic, was the experiment of a newer, fresher, and 
more vigorous civilization tried, with every advantage and 
under the most varied conditions. All that human faculties 
could do in their highest development was accomplished then. 
Again and again the result was failure and blank despair. 
The better and higher class of minds, who could not submit 
to the degradation of atheistic unbelief, found a retreat from 
that lowest depth of human corruption in the rugged recesses 
of fatalistic stoicism. But the masses, and the large majority 
of educated men, unreservedly adopted the atheistic and 
Epicurean alternative, that man can not know the truth, that 
he can learn nothing of his origin, his nature, or his destiny, 
and that the highest wisdom is to gratify his appetites, with 
no other restraint than prudence and a regard for health may 

It was when human nature had reached, by its own futile 
efforts, this lowest deep, and when it must have inevitably 
perished in its own corruption, that the God-man appeared, 
to be the Savior of this fallen humanity, to bear witness to 
the truth, to bring life and immortality to light. 

God, indeed, had never left Himself without a witness in 
the world, besides that testimony which is borne to Him by 
the works of nature. The primitive revelation had de- 
scended, in gradually decreasing influence, to all races and 
nations. Instead of improving this revelation, and attain- 
ing, from the vantage ground which it gave them, to a better 
and purer religion, as modern speculation would require, 
men simply depraved, vitiated, and obscured the knowledge 
first imparted, until, as we have seen, nearly all was lost. 

Even beyond all this, God was pleased, in that long trial 
of humanity, to help the infirmities and to instruct the 
ignorance of men. Early in the apostasy, He selected a 
family and nation to be special witnesses to the truth. To 


this nation — then the kingdom of God — the truth was pre- 
sented by a continuous revelation, submitted to constant 
proof and verification. And these witnesses for God were 
placed, by the special care of the Almighty, at the base of 
the Mediterranean sea, and just between the two earliest 
centers of civilization and empire. This testimony, like all 
the rest, was disregarded, and the fact of man's incapacity 
even to retain, much less to discover and advance, the true relig- 
ion, was fully proved. 

And now the revelation of the truth was to be made full 
and perfect. Now the whole mind of God, in the creation 
and Restoration of man, was to be disclosed. Now the 
adorable mystery, so long hidden in shadow, type and figure, 
of a higher life in humanity, proceeding from the Divine 
Manhood of the incarnate Deity, was to be fully manifested. 
And now, therefore, to make that revelation effectual, for its 
purpose of mercy and grace, to give it influence and power 
over mankind, the kingdom of God was to be formally 
established among all nations. 

At the very crisis of this Divine legation, the objective 
truth, which saves and ennobles, was brought, in the person 
of our Savior Christ, into immediate contact and conflict with 
the best results of mere human wisdom, represented by Pon- 
tius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea. The Revealer 
of the truth stands at the tribunal of the lordly representa- 
tive of human power and wisdom. To this man the blessed 
Jesus makes the sublime annunciation which every ingenu- 
ous soul should have hailed as the dayspring from on high : 
" For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear 
witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hear- 
eth my voice." 

The answer of Pilate is a contemptuous epitome of the 
philosophy of his times. "What is truth?" was not a ques- 


tion reverently addressed to the incarnate Truth, but the im- 
patient exclamation of a man familiar with the results of 
human learning and speculation, knowing that truth had been 
long and earnestly sought and never found, and who had set- 
tled down in the despairing conviction that Truth was 
nothing but a high-sounding word with which to cheat and 
betray fools and visionaries. 

The subsequent conduct of Pilate was in perfect keeping 
with this rejection of all that gives sanctity to human life and 
character. He had no ill will towards the extraordinary per- 
son who had been brought before him. On the contrary, he 
repeatedly affirmed his innocence, was evidently impressed by 
the majestic meekness of his bearing, and was very anxious 
to discharge him unharmed. But, because to have acted 
thus in his judicial office, upon his own clear convictions of 
truth and righteousness, might have caused him some trouble, 
some perplexity, some complication with his government; 
and, knowing these things to he realities, (whereas truth and 
righteousness were to him but vain illusions,) he deliberately 
and wantonly prostitutes the highest of all earthly offices, and 
condemns to death the man whom, in the very sentence, he 
proclaimed innocent and just. And this was the actual con- 
dition of the whole world at that period, as we learn from 
other and independent authorities. With such principles at 
its heart, human society could not have subsisted much longer. 
And in reading the history of the early ages of Christianity, 
we must recollect that it was upon such a festering mass of 
corruption that the leaven of Christian truth was compelled 
to work. 

We now stand upon the vantage ground of eighteen cen- 
turies of Christian culture. The kingdom which Christ estab- 
lished was early planted among all the civilized and in some 
of the barbarous nations of the- earth; and the truth which 


Jesus came to reveal, and of which that kingdom is the 
appointed witness, has been permeating and renovating dis- 
eased humanity ever since. 

Two causes have been at work to renew in our time an 
image of the period in which the Savior lived. For several 
generations an infidel philosophy has prevailed, which, con- 
sciously shutting out the light of truth that God revealed, hab 
been burrowing in the darkness of the human soul for truth. 
The result has been a reproduction, in curious succession, of 
the very systems and fancies which had been found and tried, 
and exploded in the days of Pontius Pilate, the later philos- 
ophies leaving no residuum but a skeptical atheism like his. 

A sadder cause has tended to the same conclusion. First, 
the corruptions of Christianity itself, and then the melancholy 
divisions among Christians which sprung out of the effort to 
remove those corruptions, have obscured the light of truth, 
and given rise to painful perplexities and uncertainties in the 
minds of multitudes, whether, amid such diversity of jarring 
dogmas, there is any truth which the mind of man can suf- 
ficiently discern and firmly hold. 

The thoughts of earnest Christians all over the world are 
directed to this painful subject. And, surely, the dangers and 
difficulties of the times are sufficient to turn all hearts and 
minds to try if haply a remedy may be found. False religion 
and irreligion, sometimes separate, often combined, arraying 
all their powers against the truth, should summon all who hold 
alike the great fundamental saving articles of that truth, tc 
join together in one compact body of believing champions foi 
the defense of the common faith against its proud and insult- 
ing foes. 

In a question of preserving the integrity of the truth 
against the powers of darkness, it will not do to begin by 
an attempt to compromise any portion of that truth, and 


thus to band together in mere negations those who hold pos- 
itively the most conflicting dogmas. 

Neither will it at all meet the exigency to rest in that 
merely spiritual unity which results from the consciousness 
of having certain principles and feelings in common. This is 
a very blessed unity, indeed, for which we daily pray in the 
liturgy. But the demand of the present crisis of the strug- 
gle of Christianity against the kingdom of darkness, is for that 
visible, external unity, that organization, which gives strength 
for defense and for aggression. 

Human wisdom could hardly suggest a solu- 

§2. Establish- m ... 

"went of the tion of so hard a problem; but Divine Wis- 

Kingdom. ^ oin na( ^ an ti c ipated the puzzling complication 
produced by human weakness and error, and had provided 
the amplest solution. 

We have seen that at the coming of Christ the disorgan- 
ization of society, of religion, of philosophy, and of the 
human mind, was extreme, so that ruthless atheism and 
moral dissoluteness were rioting over the prostrate nations, 
and defacing utterly the image of Grod in man. 

At the very crisis of this disorganization, the manifested 
truth undertook to gather the redeemed into one all-pervad- 
ing Unity, which should equally respect the sacredness of 
truth and the freedom of the human soul, dogmatically pre- 
scribe the terms of salvation, and yet allow full scope for the 
action of all reasonable diversities of mind, character, and 

For this purpose Christ established a kingdom, with a full 
and perfect organization, for the effective propagation and 
perpetuation of the truth, and to secure the salutary power 
of that truth upon man and upon society. Nothing in the 
Gospels is presented more prominently than the establish- 
ment and pervading influence of this kingdom. All other 


truth is studiously and constantly taught as the principles, 
the laws, or the administration of the kingdom of God. 
Christ alone is King, but a succession of earthly officers was 
sarefully provided, and His last official act was the promul- 
gation of its great Charter, "All power is given unto Me in 
heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and disciple all 
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all 
things whatsoever I have commanded you ; and lo, I am with 
you alway, even unto the end of the world." (St. Matt, xxviii, 
18, 20.) 

In this comprehensive charter we see, as simple facts, the 
kingdom itself, its chief officers, its aggressive constitution, 
its faith, its sacramental pledges, its perpetuity, its Divine 
power by the perpetual presence of Christ. 

While the visibility and effective external organization of 
this kingdom of God are carefully provided for, its super- 
natural, mystical, and spiritual nature is not less clearly 
declared. It is sometimes called the "spouse of Christ." 
More emphatically still, " His body, the fullness of Him 

THAT FILLETH ALL IN ALL." (EpheS. 1, 23.) 

The baptismal formula contained in this great Charter, 
requiring an intelligent faith, was expanded, by those to whom 
the commission was first given, into those brief explanations 
of its terms and meaning which, as now collected and pre- 
served, we call, respectively, the Apostles' and the Nicene 
Creed. These determine, and take out of the region of ques- 
tion and debate, all essential truth, yet leave a magnificent 
domain for the excursion of the human mind in perfect free- 
dom of adventurous speculation. And so, for many ages, the 
whole Church understood the meaning of the charter, and 
therefore, with the largest diversity of thought and opinion, 
continued one. 


The only practical remedy for the unhappy divisions of 
Christendom now, is to return to the ancient and divinely-estab- 
lished basis of unity — the recognition of the kingdom of 
God, as originally organized by the Divine care, and with its 
few and simple terms of communion. The primitive organ- 
ization, and the terms of communion, are witnessed by the 
Scriptures, and by the whole subsequent history of Christen- 
dom. For in that subsequent history every change, every 
departure from the primitive order, becomes a witness to that 
first Divinely-ordained prescription. 

When God would make known the way of salvation, He 
was not so unmindful of His own previous work in ordain- 
ing the nature of man as to send forth revealed truth as an 
abstraction, a mere spoken word, or written treatise. In that 
way of communication the truth could have exerted no influ- 
ence whatever upon man and upon society. When God 
wrote the Ten Commandments upon two tables of stone, He 
did not leave them upon Mount Sinai, to be found and ap- 
propriated by the wanderers of the Arabian desert. He did 
not even give them to Moses, as a private person, to be sub- 
ject to the chances of individual life and family transmis- 
sion; but He placed them in the official custody of a 
"Kingdom of Priests," whose whole corporate being was 
founded upon the duty and purpose of safely keeping and 
transmitting from generation to generation these and other 
witnesses and memorials of the truth — this kingdom being 
itself, in its corporate character, the chief and concurring witness 
to the same truth. 

And so in the Christian dispensation. The revelation is 
not merely a discourse or a written treatise. It is the sol- 
emn establishment of a kingdom, thoroughly organized, to 
which the revelation is committed in varied forms — of oral 
discourse afterward reduced to writing, of letters, sacraments, 


and creeds. And, again, the kingdom, in its Christian form, 
becomes, as before, and by the necessity of the case, the 
most prominent and important witness of all. 

So fundamental is the kingdom of God in the purpose and 
method of salvation, that all the practical precepts of the 
Bible, and the most graphic and concerning illustrations of 
Divine truth, are given as incidents and peculiar features of 
this one all-comprehending fact. It is the kingdom of heaven 
that is declared to be the leaven of the world and of society. 
The truths of the Gospel are called "the mysteries of the 
kingdom." The very principles of the Divine administra- 
tion are announced, as the laws of this kingdom. Nearly 
all the parables of our blessed Lord are founded upon the 
assumption of the kingdom as the fundamental fact in Chris- 
tianity, consequent upon the incarnation, sacrifice, and medi- 
ation of Christ our Redeemer. And that adorable Redeemer 
occupied the wondrous interval between the resurrection and 
His ascension into heaven in "speaking of the things per- 
taining to the Kingdom of God." 

gs. Constitution A kingdom without a regular and orderly 
of the kingdom, gradation of offices, in due and fitting relation 
to each other, would be a mere Babel of confusion, a perpet- 
ual source of discord, strife, and lawlessness. "God is not 
the author of confusion, but of peace," "that there should 
be no schism in the body." Accordingly we learn that there 
is a glorious hierarchy in heaven. Much more necessary, and 
much more distinctly revealed, is the progression and sub- 
ordination of offices in the earthly kingdom of Christ. 

There is no conflict, no sort of opposition, as some strangely 
imagine, between the Church of God and the saving truth of 
which she is the appointed witness and keeper. The original 
constitution of the Church combined into harmonious concord 
all the best and most legitimate elements of human govern- 


meut. Men, dissatisfied with this Divine concord of what 
they supposed to be discordant elements, and unwilling to 
exercise the intelligence and the moral restraint necessary to 
the right working of such a system, have ever sought to im- 
prove and simplify the product of Divine wisdom by changing 
His beautiful and complex harmony into a simple, crushing 
autocracy on the one hand, or into an equally simple and 
despotic supremacy of the shifting popular will on the other. 

The witness of the Bible and of history alike rebukes this 
human tampering with Divinely established order, and pre- 
sents to us, in clear outline, the original constitution of 
Christ's earthly kingdom. 

The first official act of our blessed Lord in the organiza- 
tion of His kingdom is thus related by St. Luke: "And 
it came to pass in those days that he went out into a moun- 
tain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And 
when it was day he called unto him his disciples: and 
of them he chose twelve, whom also he named Apostles." 
"And he sent them to preach the Kingdom of God." (vi, 
12, 13; ix, 2.) "After these things the Lord appointed 
other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face 
into every city and place, whither he himself would come." 
And these also were commissioned to preach "the kingdom 
of God," with this solemn sanction: "He that heareth you 
heareth me ; and he that despiseth you despiseth me ; and he 
that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me." (x, 1-16.) 

During the remainder of our Lord's sojourn upon earth, 
while the kingdom was restricted to the narrow limits of the 
Holy Land, this was its organization: 1. Christ, the visible 
head. 2. The Apostles. 3. The Seventy. 4. The whole 
body of disciples. 

After the resurrection, when the kingdom was to be ex- 
tended over the whole earth, and Christ, the only King, was 


to be no longer visible, it was meet that a visible head should 
be provided, who might be seen and acknowledged, and 
who might superintend the administration of the kingdom in 
eveiy part of it. This is not stated as an abstract proposition 
to which the facts of the Divine Record must be ingeniously 
conformed; but it is simply the apparent rationale of the 
unquestionable facts of the case. To the whole college of the 
Apostles Jesus studiously gave the visible headship which 
He Himself had hitherto exercised. "As my Father hath 
sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this he 
breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy 
Ghost. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto 
them: and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." 
(St. John xx, 21-23.) "Then the eleven disciples went 
away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appoint- 
ed them. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye 
therefore and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; 
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com- 
manded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the 
end of the world." (St. Matt, xxviii, 16-20.) 

The first thing the Apostles do, in pursuance of this ple- 
nary commission, is to add to their own number. And the 
subsequent narrative shows that this addition goes on in- 
definitely, as the exigencies of the ever-enlarging kingdom 
demanded. The next recorded act in this connection is the 
formal ordination of Deacons. The orderly organization of 
the kingdom was then as follows : 1. The Apostles. 2. The 
Order represented by the original Seventy, presently called 
Elders and sometimes Bishops — Overseers — and indefinitely 
multiplied wherever the Church was planted. 3. The Dea- 
cons. 4. The body of believers. 


With this organization the canon of Scripture closes. 
And if the simple authority of Scripture is to determine 
the primitive constitution of the Church, there is the de- 

Every page of ecclesiastical history, after the close of the 
canon, presents to us this identical constitution of the Church, 
prevailing and unquestioned every -ichere. Only one change is 
at first observable. The successors to the Apostolic office, 
out of reverence to the first Apostles, gradually dropped that 
title, and assumed one which had been sometimes given to the 
second order of the Ministry, the title Bishop. 

To make our conception of the essential constitution of the 
Church more distinct, one other element of confusion should 
be removed. 

We find in Scripture, and in subsequent ecclesiastical his- 
tory, mention of other offices in the Church besides the three 
grades of the Ministry just enumerated: such as Evangelists, 
Prophets, the gift of tongues, etc., in the first age ; and Arch- 
deacons, Archbishops, Patriarchs, and many others, in later 
times. Two criteria discriminate clearly between these two 
classes of offices: 1. The second class are, manifestly, vari- 
able expediencies, adapted to temporary circumstances ; either 
coming soon to an end, or beginning long after the Divine 
organization of the Church was completed. The first class 
are constant, and have continued unchanged from the time 
when the Apostles were assembled at Jerusalem to this day. 
2. A still more decisive mark separates the two classes of 
offices. Each of the Divine offices is filled, and can only be 
filled, by a Divinely prescribed Ordination, by those to whom 
Christ committed the administration of His Church. Every 
Bishop, every Presbyter, every Deacon, in the Church of Grod ; 
has received his office by the solemn "Laying on of hands," 
for that purpose and with that intention, of an Apostle, or of 


a Successor of an Apostle. Whereas, to the other offices 
mentioned in Scripture, no such ordination is mentioned. 
And from the Apostles' days to this day, no other office in 
the Church of God has ever been conferred by ordination. 
No Subdeacon, Archdeacon, Dean, Archbishop, Patriarch, or 
Pope, has ever been made such by Ordination, but is simply 
appointed to the office by human authority, as a merely hu- 
man expediency. 

The pregnant inference from this fact is strengthened by 
another most suggestive fact. There is one other ordination, 
or "laying on of hands," known to the Church of God, and 
but one other. It was uniformly practised by the Apostles, 
and has been uninterruptedly continued ever since. It does 
not admit to a special ministerial office in the Church, but to 
the common fellowship or general Priesthood of the Church, 
as the complement of Baptism. It is usually called Con- 

Thus there are four ordinations, by Apostolic hands, known 
to the Church of God, of Divine institution, and perpetual 
obligation : First, that which confers the general Priesthood 
that belongs to every member of the Body of Christ; 
second, that which confers the lowest ministerial office in 
that Priesthood; third, that which admits to a higher Order 
in the same Ministry; fourth, that which confers the highest 
of all, the Episcopal office. Each of these grades in the 
orderly arrangement of Christ's kingdom is a Divine gift, 
witnessed by a Divine ordinance. All other offices in the 
fJhureh are human, temporary, and transient; and in the 
darkest days of corruption no one ever dared to put upon 
them the sanction of Divine appointment by an attempted 

The purpose of this work does not permit me to furnish 
any more detailed proofs of the nature and constitution of 


the kingdom of God. This lias been effectually done in 

many popular books.* 

U. the king- Such, in brief outline, is the constitution of 

dom or god a that Divine Kingdom which God has set up 

Witness to the in thig WQrld ^ fee Hig WITNESg ^ f 

Truth. ' ° 

and home of His redeemed children. This is 
the fundamental fact in revealed religion, upon which all other 
revealed truth depends for its authentication, and from which 
it proceeds as its starting point. No wonder, when this fact 
was ignored, or counted as nothing, that men began first to 
doubt and then to deny all other revealed truth. 

The Church executes her office as God's Witness in the 
earth. 1st. By keeping and bearing testimony to the Holy 
Scriptures as God's Word written. To the Church of God 
under the Mosaic dispensation we owe the Canon of the Old 
Testament. The Church alone, as a perpetual body corporate, 
could have preserved these books from age to age; and her 
authentication alone can compose the separate portions of the 
Canon into the one Book of the Almighty. Even as a mere 
human corporation having perpetuity, the Church could au- 
thenticate and give unity to the Bible as her own continuous 
record. But without this corporate existence of the Church 
as one, there was no human possibility of the collection and 
transmission of the Bible as one book, and there could be no 
authentication of it. Such is the necessity of the Church, 
even when we eliminate from her constitution and from her 
continuous record the Divine element. The Church and the 
Bible even thus become concurrent witnesses to the truth and 
to each other. 

But when the. Kingdom of God and the Holy Record of 

*Among these are Chapman's Sermons, Kip's Double Witness, Wilson's Church 
Identified, and the Churchman's Reasons for his Faith and Practice, by Dr. N. S. 


that kingdom are taken together, as they have actually come 
down to us, the Divine element can not reasonably be elimi- 
nated from either. For the existence of the Church itself 
from long before the beginning of any other authentic history, 
down through all the revolutions of the world to our own 
day, is itself the most stupendous of miracles. The Church, 
thus Divinely preserved, keeps and transmits, from age to 
age, a record, telling of her Divine origin, and of numerous 
Divine attestations, by miracle and prophecy, in successive 
ages. To each one of these Divine attestations all the my- 
riads composing the Church at the time of their occurrence 
are the witnesses, and, by virtue of the corporate character 
of the Church, their testimony is transmitted in the record 
to all succeeding ages. 

The testimony of the Church to the New Testament is 
just the same as to the Old. Only, from the general exten- 
sion of the Christian Church, that testimony is even more 
conclusive. The Christian Church was long before any book 
of the New Testament, and is, of necessity, the only witness 
to each and all of them. The testimony is stronger than 
that of the ancient Church, because that ancient Church con- 
sisted of but one people, speaking one language, and there 
was a possibility therefore of tampering with the record, if we 
put out of view the Divine care. But there was no such pos- 
sibility in regard to the testimony of the Christian Church. 
For the various books composing the New Testament were 
collected, held, and witnessed by innumerable Christian bodies, 
in all parts of the world, speaking different languages, and 
having no connection but their oneness in the body of Christ. 

2. The Church is the Witness of God in yet another way. 
God has ever sealed His mercy and truth by visible sacra- 
ments The constant administration of these by the Church 
continually proclaimed that mercy and truth, while the insti- 


tution of those sacraments was made a part of the written 
record. Thus the Divine care provided for the satisfaction 
of the reasonable nature of man three distinct, concurring, 
mutually dependent, and mutually sustaining witnesses to 
His truth — the Church by her simple corporate existence, 
the written Word which she preserved, and the sacraments 
which she continuously administered. 

Now see the efiect of separating the things 

§5. Fatal Ef- , «,',,.., ,, -r, 

feots of disee- tnat ^ 0< ^ na( A joined together. Komanism 
ovrdingthis began by making the Church, or, rather, a 
part of it, superior to the Word and Sacraments, 
and independent of them, as if she were the sole witness to 
the truth. The miserable corruptions consequent upon that 
daring subversion of God's appointed order, led to the ex- 
treme reaction which put almost out of view, and entirely out 
of just estimation, both Church and Sacraments, and left the 
Bible to be the sole witness of God in the world. These two 
opposite modes of departure from the Divine prescription 
have produced for each a terrible retribution. 

Unity was God's ordinance ; Separation is man's fatal de- 
vice. God gave His Church, His written Word, and His 
holy Sacraments, as distinct yet concurring and joint witnesses 
to the same truth. Rome first divided the Church in the 
West from the Church in the East. Then she divided this 
Western fraction, as subsisting in any passing age, from the 
Catholic Church of all the ages. For the maimed and dis- 
torted body, produced by this twofold division, she then 
arrogated the privilege of being the exclusive witness for 
God. By the testimony of such a witness she assumed to 
give Divine sanction to all the mediaeval corruptions of relig- 
ion, and secured the power of adding to those corruptions 
just as fast as the degeneracy of morals and manners might 
require. Had it not been for the check given to this process 


by the Reformation, it may safely be affirmed that by this 
time the light of Christian truth would have been almost ex- 
tinguished. Even as it is, the educated classes in Romish 
countries are, for the most part, skeptical or atheistic; while 
to the ignorant masses religion is little better than an unrea- 
soning superstition. 

What, again, is the result of that mode of separating the 
things which God had joined together, which ignores the 
Church and the Sacraments as witnesses to the truth, and sets 
up the Bible as the only and all-sufficient witness? 

Even thus alone, the Bible was reverenced for awhile. But, 
deprived of the concurring testimony which the Church and 
the Sacraments give to the great, fundamental truth spread 
over all the pages of the Bible, men began to find in it, 
according to the variations of tJieir own minds, so many appa- 
rently conflicting truths, and thereupon to divide off into so 
many rival and discordant sects, that the world was confounded 
by these contrary utterances. The Divine criterion of truth — 
its unity — was lost. The heathen said, "Agree upon your 
religion before you come to persuade us to adopt it." Multi- 
tudes in Christian lands found an excuse for doubt, indecision, 
and a practical rejection of the Gospel, in this Babel of con- 
fused and jarring testimony. 

The evil of this form of separation did not stop here. The 
Bible, dissevered from the Divine connections which gave to 
it its Unity, its authentication, and its sanction as the Word 
of God, was taken up by learned men as a thing by itself, 
without a history, and just discovered. The book, thus 
isolated, was dissected into parts, and torn into fragments, and 
so subjected to the critical processes of these self-sufficient 
judges. First one and then another book was disposed of as 
spurious, then the inspiration of the whole, or any part of it, 
was denied, and all its miracles rejected. All that they have 


left us is the ferocious atheism of one sect of philosophers, 
or the wretched inanities of the sentimental Frenchman who 
has essayed to turn the life of Jesus into a Pastoral. 

God's blessed prescription, God's appointed union of the 
Church, the Scriptures, and the Sacraments, as diverse but 
consentient and mutually sustaining witnesses to the same 
eternal truth, testifying without variation or shadow of change 
in all the ages, is the cure, and the only cure, for these fatal 

The very latest issue of virulent enmity to Christianity, 
the Westminster Review for October, 1864, uses as the chief 
weapon of attack the separation of the Scriptures from the 
Church. "Divide and conquer" is the motto of infidelity, 
not only as to Christian people, but as applicable, even more 
effectively, to the appointed witnesses and muniments of the 
truth. It attacks each as if it were alone, and loudly boasts 
an easy victory. Thus it sums up the present aspect of the 
conflict: " These contests must lead ultimately to a discussion 
of the basis of the orthodox creed. Hitherto, though con- 
trary to reason, it has been supported by a supposition of the 
infallibility of the Church, or of the infallibility of Scripture. 
When each of these is given up it must come to the ground." 
(p. 228.) 

It is painful to remember that the occasion for this ad- 
vantage was first given by Christian teachers, profanely 
separating what God had joined together. Christian religion 
is not founded upon any one unconnected dogma, the infalli- 
bility of the Church, or the infallibility of the Scripture, 
considered each as an isolated fact. It rests upon a concur- 
rence of Divine Witnesses, the Church, the Scriptures, and 
the Sacraments, provided by the Divine care, authenticating 
each other and testifying jointly to the same essential truth. 
The Almighty thus meets and satisfies the highest require- 


merits of human reason, the utmost demands of the nature 
He has made. This threefold cord can not be broken. In- 
fidelity has never even attempted to answer the argument of 
Leslie, derived from the strength of this merciful provision.* 
It is only when Christians have untwisted the cord and laid 
its parts asunder, and rely upon the strength of a single por- 
tion, that infidelity seizes the advantage thus given to it, and 
makes those continuous assaults which have resulted so dis- 
astrously to the cause of revealed religion. Surely it is time 
to cease this tame surrender of the Christian strength; this 
mistaken confederacy with evil; this wretched composition 
with the adversary of God and man. 

Another of the favorite devices of the enemy, eagerly 
adopted from the weak concessions of Christian people, is to 
represent the Kingdom of God depicted in the Gospel as 
merely a moral idea, a fancy, or an affection, instead of a 
real, visible kingdom, set up in the world with power, perpe- 
tuity, and Divine authority. 

The recognition of the Kingdom of God with its estab- 
lished connections, puts an end to the whole craft and 
professed science of modern unbelief. The loss of the true 
conception of that kingdom for some ages past has tended 
more than all other causes, it seems to me, to nurture that 
unbelief. We have already seen some illustrations of the 
truth of this position. There is another which we will briefly 

The foremost dogma of this antichristian science is that 
a miracle is impossible, or so antecedently incredible that no 
amount of testimony can prove its occurrence. The conclu- 
sion from this dogma is that the miracles recorded in the 
Christian Scriptures discredit those Scriptures, and resolvo 
their contents into myth and fable. 

*Short and Easy Method with a Deist. 


And why is a miracle thus summarily pronounced impos- 
sible by the diminutive spirit of unbelieving sciolism? Is 
not all nature a perpetual miracle? The universe and its 
minutest atoms, are they not all stupendous miracles of Al- 
mighty power and wisdom, far away beyond our power of 
comprehension? Has human science yet fathomed the mys- 
tery of being, of life, in its most insignificant form? The 
antichristian advocate replies, These phenomena of nature, 
with all their incomprehensible wonders, are credible because 
they proceed in orderly course and are the subject of constant 
experience, and can be formulated into a scientific arrange- 
ment. The position then amounts to this: "Any number 
of ordinary miracles is credible, and such miracles are the 
constituents of all science. No extraordinary miracle is 
credible, and when any such is alleged it must be contempt- 
uously dismissed as a fable and a superstition." This, and 
no more, is the mystery and meaning of that vaunted science 
of historical criticism which professes to have discredited the 
Scriptures and overturned Christianity. 

The common sense of mankind must scout this dogma as 
little better than the idiocy of philosophic pretension. Let us 
analyze the dogma, and see if the verdict of the common 
mind is not logically and scientifically correct. 

Why is an alleged extraordinary miracle incredible? But 
two possible reasons can be given for this dogma. Either, 
first, there is no God — no Personal Will and Mind — to 
whom such a miracle can be referred ; or, secondly, no human 
testimony can authenticate such a miracle. The first reason 
is bald and naked atheism. The second is the oft-refuted 
sophism of David Hume, in the last century. The whole of 
this vain boasting, then, goes back to the philosophy which is 
as old at least as the time when a wise man announced, "The 
fool hath said in his heart, There is no God;" or to the inge- 


nious riddle of a self-confessed sophist of the eighteenth 

Indeed, this latter alternative, adopted from Hume by the 
latest unbelief, resolves itself into the former. For the notion 
of a God who can not communicate His will to His reason- 
able creatures, except by the established and ordinary course 
of natural phenomena — can make known to men no truth but 
such as is contained in those phenomena — is really equiva- 
lent to the denial of any God, out of and above nature, which 
is simple atheism. 

All the force and ingenuity of Hume's riddle proceeds from 
ignoring the kingdom of God, as a supernatural society, 
coeval, not indeed with nature, but with human society. This 
kingdom has subsisted, as a fact, from the fall of man, and 
has come down through all the ages, in continued coincidence 
with the progress and development of human nature. The 
communication of the will of God, as a Moral Governor, over 
and above the course of physical phenomena, has been the 
normal state, the established rule of this kingdom from the 
beginning. Such a communication, however attested, in the 
regular development of the kingdom of God, is not properly 
extraordinary, is not an isolated, unconnected wonder, which 
we may ascribe to delusion or deceit, but is part of an orderly, 
regular, and established sequence. 

The phenomena of conscience in every man attest a moral 
Governor, and a spiritual sphere of being subject to the 
moral law, just as certainly as physical phenomena attest a 
physical law, and a creative power. A visible kingdom 
has been the outward witness of God, as the Moral Gover- 
nor of this spiritual sphere of being, through all the ages; 
and its official record is older than all the sciences, and than 
any other human history. 

A communication from God, beyond and above nature. 


and manifesting a control of all physical phenomena, is the 
rule and ordinary procedure of this kingdom, at every great 
conjuncture of its history. The official record has attested 
these communications, and the manner of them, at the re- 
spective times in which they were made. And the Divine 
care has provided, in the very constitution of the kingdom, 
that all the members of it, living at the time of these com- 
munications, should be, in various ways, concurrent witnesses 
to the facts stated in the record. 

This elaborate provision at once authenticates the truth 
beyond reasonable question, and separates it by a broad gulf 
from all the impostures or delusions with which the Devil 
has attempted to simulate the voice of God. A true miracle 
might never have been questioned but for this cunning de- 
vice of the Adversary, by which he accomplishes a double 
purpose, to build up his own kingdom of darkness, and to 
discredit the Divine communications. And this vile deceit 
is really the foundation of the pretended modern science 
which repudiates miracles as incredible. Because miracles 
have been alleged in behalf of every form of false religion, 
and as an habitual mode of practicing upon superstitious 
weakness, therefore it is concluded that every alleged miracle 
must be referred either to fraud or delusion. 

The reasonable conclusion, on the contrary, from these 
premises, would seem to be that there must be a foundation 
in truth and reality for a phenomenon so universal. Every 
counterfeit presupposes the genuine thing which it tries to 
represent. Imposture would never have pretended, or super- 
stition imagined, a false miracle, except upon the condition 
that true miracles had actually been performed on behalf of 
God's truth, or were reasonably to be looked for. Take away 
this condition and you leave one of the most prominent 
phenomena in the history of man without a cause, without a 


possible foundation. Admit this condition and you destroy 
that fragile erection of historical criticism which rejects all 
miracles as incredible. 

Turn now to the official record of the Kingdom of God, 
and you find both the parts of this unquestionable phenome- 
non of human history. True miracles are recorded, wrought 
by Divine power in attestation of the truth, and "lying won- 
ders" are mentioned with equal distinctness, wrought either 
by satanic agency or by human fraud, deriving all their force 
and influence from the true miracles which they counterfeit, 
or from the reasonable conviction of the human soul that 
God would so attest His truth to man. Both facts are pre- 
sented fully and in their proper relations in the Bible. The 
New Testament continues the plain testimony of the Old in 
this regard, and further announces that this method of de- 
ception will continue all through the Christian dispensation. 
The blessed Savior says: "There shall arise false Christs and 
false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders." (St. 
Matt, xxiv, 24.) And St. Paul declares: "The mystery of 
iniquity doth already work," anticipating the approach of 
him "whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all 
power, and signs, and lying wonders." (2 Thess. ii, 7—9.) 

Look at the miracles recorded in Scripture which attest 
the power and presence of God, and see how broad the dis- 
tinction between them and all human or satanic counterfeits. 
God's miracles are wrought in orderly course, as a part of the 
development of His kingdom. They belong emphatically to 
each changing period in the history of that kingdom, when 
new disclosures of the mysteries of Grace required additional 
attestations from on high. And the nature of these mira- 
cles is in beautiful accordance with the revealed character of 
God as the Father of His people and the Curer of all dis- 


The counterfeits, on the contrary, occur without method, 
and with no other apparent purpose than to practice upon 
credulity and fear, to keep the people in quiet submission to 
their temporal or spiritual rulers. And, again, in their char- 
acter most of these counterfeits are either ferocious manifes- 
tations of enmity to mankind, designed to inspire terror, or 
they are trifling, meaningless, silly mummeries, a very mock- 
ery of man as well as an insult to the Deity. This whole 
description applies as truly to Popish as to Heathen miracles. 
Winking or weeping Madonnas, flying chapels, and liquefying 
blood, are no better, no more like to God's working in the 
glorious economy of His kingdom than the wildest and 
silliest legends of heathendom, or than the table turnings and 
monkey tricks of modern necromancy. 

Allowing, therefore, to the argument of Hume and his 
imitators all that it claims, a miracle, in the orderly develop- 
ment of the kingdom of heaven, when the occasion for it 
occurs, is just as much to be expected as any physical phe- 
nomena, and can be as certainly authenticated by sufficient 

A miracle, however authenticated, simply by itself, isolated 
from all these Divine connections, is no witness for God. It 
may be the product of human or satanic fraud, or the creature 
of mere delusion. But when it appeals to us as an integral 
part of God's established order, in that kingdom which He 
set up in the world and has continually maintained from the 
beginning; when it is one of a regular series of Divine 
workings in that kingdom, and for the promotion of its or- 
dained purpose; when thus supported by a consistent order 
of antecedents and consequents, it is just as capable of com- 
plete authentication as any physical fact or event of human 
history. It then becomes the unmistakable witness of God, 
accrediting the messenger He sends or the truth He would 


make known. We see, therefore, how fatal in every aspect 
has been the error of that modern popular phase of Christi- 
anity which ignores the Church of God as an integral and 
essential part of revealed religion. 

The Incarnation, God becoming man, "for us and for our 
salvation," is the great miracle and the central fact of this 
revealed religion. To this all history points. Around it all 
human interests and events revolve. The religious rites of 
ali time and of all nations derive from this fact their mean- 
ing and significance. They are either the ordinances of God 
to show forth this fact and its appointed consequents, or im- 
itations, travesties, and corruptions of those ordinances, and 
of the truths which they signify. 

It may reasonably be asked, "As the Christian world is 
now divided, however wrongfully, into discordant sects, how 
are we to know that kingdom of God which Christ reorganized 
in its latest form, and to which He gave such power and 

The preceding discussion helps to answer this very perti- 
nent inquiry. The Christian body which can show its his- 
torical continuity with the Apostolic Church; which has 
never put asunder the things that God had joined together, 
retaining inviolate and unbroken His whole institution, the 
same organization, the same ministry ; which teaches, and re- 
quires to be believed for salvation, the One Faith — no 
more, no less — taught and required by that Church; and 
which continues to administer the same Sacraments instituted 
and administered then, is not only beyond peradventure an 
integral part, but is plainly a sound and healthy part of that 
Divine kingdom. For the detailed solution of this question 
I must refer again to the admirable works formerly men- 

Another essential purpose of God's earthly kingdom, 


besides being a witness to the truth, is to be the refuge and 
the home of His redeemed children. It is her duty to teach 
them what to believe and what to do in order to be saved ; to 
take them into her bosom and seal them for heaven by Christ's 
own Sacraments; to nurture them by instruction in God's 
holy Word and in His holy worship, and so to train them in 
His holy fear and love that they shall be meet for an entrance 
into His Everlasting Kingdom. 

We proceed to the consideration of this great and all-con- 
rcrning purpose of the Church. 




When we go to the Word of God for the answer to the 
question, "What must we do to be saved?" we find some very 
brief, precise, and emphatic answers. In the great commis- 
sion which our Savior gave to His Apostles just before his 
ascension, he said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall 
be saved." (St. Mark xvi, 16.) The same august authority 
had before declared, " Except a man be born again he can 
not see the kingdom of God." "Except a man be born of 
water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom 
of God." "God so loved the world, that he gave His only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not 
perish, but have everlasting life." (St. John iii, 3, 5, 16.) 
In the first sermon preached by the assembled Apostles after 
the ascension of our Lord, this very question was answered 
by the injunction, "Repent, and be baptized every one of 
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." 
(Acts ii, 38.) In the next recorded discourse the Apostles 
state the way of salvation in these terms: "Repent ye, there- 
fore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." 
(Acts iii, 19.) 

It is unnecessary to accumulate here the numerous pas- 
sages of Scripture in which salvation is ascribed to faith 
alone, or to repentance alone. The prominence thus given 
to these two graces as representative of the whole plan of 


salvation, is due to their fundamental, continuing, and per- 
vading agency in the economy of salvation. Christian re- 
ligion is the revelation of a system of Divinely instituted 
means of grace, whereby a guilty sinner is to receive the par- 
don of his sins, and supernatural power to change his corrupt 
nature into the likeness of the Son of God. In this entire 
scheme of redemption, man is treated according to his nature, 
as an intelligent and free agent. He therefore must be in- 
formed of the way of his salvation, acquiesce in it, and 
actively co-operate with his Maker and Redeemer in its ac- 
complishment. To this end he must believe the facts and 
doctrines communicated by the revelation, and must trust in 
the will and power of Christ his Savior to effect the purpose 
of the revelation — the salvation of his soul. This belief 
and trust in Christ, when sincere and active, is the saving 
faith of the Gospel. Faith, therefore, is fundamental and 
indispensable. It lies at the foundation of Christianity, and 
is the first beginning, and the continuing impulse, of every 
part and step of the way of salvation. In one important 
particular, too, faith is truly and emphatically alone in the 
work of salvation. For faith alone can bring the sinner to 
Christ, the Author of salvation. Faith alone can bring the 
child of corruption to the fountain of cleanliness, and purity, 
and health — the heir of death to the Source and Giver of Life. 
Faith has, therefore, been rightly termed the hand put forth 
to take the cup of salvation. 

Repentance, too, is an indispensable and continuing condi- 
tion in the whole work of salvation. For this is an agency 
which the Holy Spirit uses and sanctifies for the production 
of the very object and meaning of salvation, the change of a 
foul and sinful into a pure and holy being. Repentance, 
thus endued with healthful energy by the power of the Holy 
Ghost, brings us to loathe and abhor our own corruption and 


our wickedness, aud to seek earnestly and diligently for 
cleansing grace, and for pardoning grace, from the Infinite 
Fountain of all grace, Grod in Christ, reconciling the world 
unto himself. 

I have before said that many passages of Scripture might 
be cited in which faith alone is mentioned as the means of 
salvation. Others again speak only of repentance as the con- 
dition. But in the first class is repentance set aside? And 
in the second is faith excluded? Not at all. The Gospel, 
although composed of so many fragmentary portions, is a 
connected whole, and every verse is constructed with a distinct 
reference to the analogy or "proportion of faith." 

Every part of the Bible recognizes the Bible and Christi- 
anity as a whole. When repentance is declared to be the 
condition of salvation, faith is presupposed; and when faith 
is so distinguished, it is because the faith spoken of includes 
repentance. The word faith is used in several senses in the 
Bible. In its lowest meaning it is mere intellectual belief 
of a truth. In its highest sense, as saving faith, it always 
includes repentance, conversion, trust in Christ as a Savior, 
and the actual going to Christ for salvation. 

Repentance is also used in a higher and lower sense. In 
the latter, in its own simple meaning, repentance is the look- 
ing back upon a thing that has been done, and is therefore 
past recall, with sorrow, pain, and grief. In the Gospel use 
of the term there is added to this a full determination to for- 
sake and avoid the evil thing that has produced this sorrow, 
pain, and grief. The actual accomplishment of the resolve 
included in repentance — the actual forsaking of evil and 
turning to good — is Conversion. When Repentance is spoken 
of as the sole condition of salvation, it becomes, like faith 
when similarly used, a complex term, standing for all the things 
necessarily connected with it in the Grospel plan of salvation. 


The frequent and conspicuous employment of these two 
words in the Gospel, and their connection with two other ex- 
pressions — "Baptism" and "The Kingdom of God" — make 
certain these three great features of the way of salvation: 
1. That a conviction of sin, and an anxious desire to escape 
from its power and its condemnation, are indispensable requi- 
sites in the condition of him who would find the salvation of 
the Gospel. 2. That a deep sense of helplessness, of ina- 
bility to obey the commandments and to keep the law of life, 
and a reaching upward to lay hold upon one that is mighty, 
to find a Redeemer, and to trust in him, is another essential 
requisite in the condition of the seeker after salvation. 
3. That God does not intend that these spiritual exercises of 
the soul should expend themselves in indeterminate thoughts 
and feelings, which lead to no result, and are presently ex- 
changed for other thoughts and feelings ; but that, as man is 
composed of soul and body, so the plan of salvation, in cor- 
respondence with the nature of its subjects, has an external 
body in intimate connection with its spiritual truths. There- 
fore, the kingdom of God is set up in- the world, in visible 
opposition to the kingdom of evil This visible kingdom 
of God furnishes to those who think that they repent and 
believe, the opportunity of actualizing their spiritual states 
of consciousness. By reducing these mental states to ex- 
ternal acts, we are enabled at once to prove and to perfect 

No man can be sure of the quality and value of any mere 
mental state, until he has the opportunity of translating it 
into action. Every one thinks that he is exceedingly chari- 
table, until the ability and occasion for the exercise of that 
feeling is presented, and then it is often found to have been 
but an unreal fancy. No man ever believed that he would 
be a thief or a murderer, until the opportunity or the provo- 


cation came. Good and bad thoughts and emotions are 
inchoate and imperfect until thus realized in action. 

God has adapted revealed religion to the truth of our 
nature. The existence of His kingdom, with its Sacraments 
and ordinances, enables every man to test the quality and 
the value of his religious thoughts and affections. If he 
indeed abhors sin, and would forsake it, he may prove, while 
be perfects, his repentance, by renouncing the powers of 
darkness, and fleeing for refuge into the kingdom of light. 
Baptism is appointed to be the exercise and realization both 
of repentance and faith. It is the actual renunciation of the 
evil powers, thus consummating repentance. It is the actual 
entrance into the kingdom of grace and mercy established in 
Jesus Christ, thus actualizing faith in the power of Christ to 
save sinners. 

The Sacraments of Christ's religion are no works of ours. 
By no possibility can any merit be attributed to us from their 
performance. Their very meaning is an utter denial of all 
merit or worth in us, and an entire reliance upon the mercy 
of God in Christ the Savior. Upon God's part they are 
acts of grace. Upon man's part they are acts of faith in 
the necessity and power of that grace. Sacraments are the 
appointed channels of supernatural grace to us, and the in- 
stituted expression of our faith in God and in Christ. By 
them faith comes to Christ for salvation. By them faith puts 
forth her hand and lays hold on Christ. Faith thus realizes 
itself, and places him who has it within the covenant of grace 
and mercy in Christ Jesus, and secures to him the adoption 
of a child into the family of God. When the heir of sal- 
vation is thus translated, by grace and by faith, from the 
kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, the work of 
salvation is but just fairly begun. Then comes the life-long 
discipline of Providence and of Grace, chastening, training, 


strengthening, and perfecting the child of God by innumera- 
ble ministrations. 

One great difficulty in the way of the popular reception 
and appreciation of the whole body of Christian truth, is a too 
general oblivion of the fact that the Church of Christ is an 
integral and essential part of Christ's religion. 

If Christian religion is simply the revelation of certain 
abstract propositions, to be used and applied by men according 
to their varying notions of fitness and expediency; if the 
clothing and body of that religion, the Church, the Sacra- 
ments, and the Ministry, are mere human devices for the more 
effective application of those abstract truths, then the whole 
teaching of the Church for 1800 years has been one stupen- 
dous system of fraud and falsehood; then it is right for 
every man, according to his own notions of fitness and expe- 
diency, to discard, retain, or modify any part of this human 
device. Upon that supposition the external part of Christian 
religion is just as much subject to human control as the rules 
and regulations of a temperance society, and possesses just 
the same kind of virtue and efficacy. To talk, then, about 
any particular class of men being ambassadors for Christ 
would be an absurdity; for, upon this hypothesis, either 
there are no ambassadors for Christ, or alU-men are equally 
so. Upon the same hypothesis, to require men to be bap- 
tized, or to receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
would be an imposition upon human credulity, and an in- 
fringement of individual freedom. 

But, if the hypothesis from which these consequences neces- 
sarily flow be untrue, if the Church of Christ is a part of the 
religion of Christ, if Glod himself has provided a Body for the 
Spiritual truth which He revealed, thus adapting to man's com- 
pound nature the religion which He gave to man, tben this ap- 
pointment should be reverently received and faithfully obeyed. 


If there is a ministry in Christ's Church of Divine appoint- 
ment, if the Sacraments exist by Divine institution, if the 
Spiritual truth and the outward form of Christianity have 
been communicated to us as one Revelation, then, surely, 
there is no human power adequate to the change or modifica- 
tion of the Truth, as thus revealed; there can be no right or 
prerogative, on the part of any of the subjects of this won- 
drous grace of God, to separate the things which he has 
joined together, and select one portion of the truth for their 
obedience, while they discard or modify the rest. If the 
same gracious Lord who required Faith, required, also, in 
the very same utterance, Baptism, as the condition of salva- 
tion to all to whom the Gospel is proposed — "He that 
believeth and is baptized shall be saved" — who shall dare to 
assume the place of the Almighty, and disjoin these conditions, 
and propose to man new terms of acceptance with God? If 
the life-giving Word which assures us of the availability of 
repentance, gives to us that assurance in the formula — "Re- 
pent and be baptized, every one of you, for the remission of 
sins," shall we harshly condemn the Church of Christ for her 
reverent submission to the very terms of salvation prescribed 
by the Author of salvation? 

The case of the Episcopal Church is this: She professes 
to hold, and tries to maintain the Christian religion in its in- 
tegrity — just as it was revealed, without change, addition, or 
diminution — as it was held and maintained for many ages 
after Christ. That Church regards Christianity as a Revela- 
tion made once for all, perfect and entire — the mind of God 
in regard to man. Man could not discover this truth, there- 
fore it was revealed. Man can not improve it, therefore it 
was revealed in its perfectness. 




Having thus, in the most general terms, pointed out the 
way of salvation, we are prepared now to consider this great 
gi. thkee gos- subject in a more detailed and systematic 
pels. manner. If I were presenting these all-con- 

cerning truths for the first time to my readers, it would be 
very idle and improper to disturb their minds, and divide 
their attention, by the mention of diverse and conflict- 
ing views in regard to the way of life. But the exist- 
ence of these variant and dissimilar views among Chris- 
tians is a matter of unhappy notoriety. And many of 
the most formidable objections to the practical reception 
of Christianity, by vast multitudes, come from the con- 
fused perception of truth, occasioned by these jarring de- 
lineations. It will be best, therefore, to meet the real dif- 
ficulties of the case, the difficulties which are actually in the 
minds of men, by a distinct statement and recognition of 
these variant systems. The truth thus presented in juxta- 
position, and in contrast with opposing errors, will be more 
clearly distinguished and more perfectly understood. 

Each one of the erroneous systems referred to has a basis 
of truth. In no other way could they have originated, or 
continue to be currently received. The denial, by each of 
these contradictory systems, of the truth upon which the 
other is based, helps to give currency and vitality to both. 


It will be found that the actual truths contained in them all 
are recognized and provided for, in that which I shall first 
assume, and then prove, to be the system of the Bible and 
of the Church. 

There are literally now, with regard to the beginning of 
a Christian life, three Gospels currently preached in the 
world. That Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, 
is indeed earnestly declared by nearly all who call themselves 
Christians. But with regard to the commencement of the 
Divine Life in the soul of man, there are, we repeat, three 
Gospels, or systems which profess to be such. 

One is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 
who came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that 
the world through Him might be saved. That Gospel teaches, 

1st. That the entire race of man is by nature fallen, de- 
generate, dead. That each human being is so "far gone 
from original righteousness, as of his own nature to he inclined 
to evil" so that "the flesh lusteth always contrary to the 
Spirit" and " is not subject to the law of God." Art. 9. 

2nd. That the Second Person of the adorable Trinity 
assumed our nature that He might become the Second Adam, 
and give to that nature a new and better life, and that the 
incarnate Savior suffered death upon the cross for the re- 
demption of all mankind, and made there a full, perfect, and 
sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the 
whole world. 

3rd. That from the right hand of the Eternal Majesty, 
where He ever liveth to make intercession for us, He hath 
given gifts unto men, even the inestimable gift of His Holy 
Spirit, to be the Teacher, Monitor, and Guide of the souls 
for which He died ; and to dwell in the hearts of men, the 
principle of a new and Divine Life, the bond of reunion be- 
tween God and man. 


4th. That this redemption and this consequent gift are as 
extensive and as universal as the previous condemnation 
which has come into the world by sin. Accordingly, we are 
assured that the Sacrifice of Christ and the benefits of that 
Sacrifice were made over to mankind — to the entire race of 
man — from the foundation of the world. 

5th. The Divine Life thus given to every man is a germ, 
a seed, which does not necessarily, and by the force of the 
mere gift, destroy and take the place of the carnal nature, 
but co-exists with that carnal nature, and enters into conflict 
with all that is evil and depraved in the natural life; and, if 
properly entertained and nurtured, will ultimately overcome, 
mortify, and kill all the evil of corrupt nature, and substi- 
tute for that evil purity, goodness, and every Divine affection. 

6th. The Church of Christ, with all its appliances of faith 
and holiness, has been appointed as the last, the fullest, and 
the most perfect of the means and instrumentalities for the 
nurture and development of the Divine Life, from its embryo 
existence as a power in the soul of man, through all the suc- 
cessive stages of growth, to the maturity of perfect manhood 
in Jesus Christ; and to be introduced into that Church by 
Baptism is the second birth — the birth of water and of the 

We design presently to offer the proofs of each of these 

One of the other Gospels to which we have referred, 

1st. That the Gift of God, the Holy Spirit, the Divine 
Life, is imparted only to the baptized. That it begins in 
Baptism, and is inseparably connected with that Sacrament. 

2nd. That the Divine Life, by the mere gift thereof, effect- 
ually and at once destroys the carnal life — the whole evil of 
corrupt nature — remitting the subject of this gift to the state 


of Adam before the fall, making him pure, immaculate, with- 
out sin. 

3rd. The same system teaches that this pure and spotless 
being may, nevertheless, fall, as Adam fell, by sin; in which 
case the Divine Life, before imparted, is in its turn utterly 
extinguished and destroyed ; and the carnal life, by an antic- 
ipated resurrection, reappears in full strength and develop- 
ment, and resumes its previous sway and mastery over the 

4th. For this new and terrible incident of humanity, un- 
known to the true Gospel, and unprovided for there, the new 
Gospel has invented a Supplementary Sacrament of far more 
practical value and efficacy than the Sacrament of Baptism 
which our blessed Lord provided. For, according to the 
system we are now describing, the supplemental Sacrament 
of Penance reconveys the Divine Life to the soul in full 
maturity and strength, just as often as it may be forfeited 
and lost by sin. 

There is yet "another Gospel," very similar in some of its 
features to the last mentioned, but differing from it in other 
particulars. It agrees with it in denying peremptorily that 
the Gift of God, the Holy Spirit, the Divine Life, is be- 
stowed impartially upon all mankind. But instead of re- 
stricting this gift to the baptized, and looking upon Baptism 
as the instrument by which it is conferred, this other Gospel 

1st. That the gift of the Eternal Spirit is bestowed only 
upun those whom it terms converted persons, and who have 
passed through certain experiences, and have been moved 
by a peculiar class of feelings designated as the New Birth. 

So far the maintainers of this Gospel, which constitutes 
the popular theology of the day, go together in entire har- 
mony of statement. But at this point two parties are pre- 


sented to our view, who go as far asunder as possible. The 
smaller of these teaches, 

2nd. That the converted persons, upon whom the Holy 
Spirit is bestowed, have been previously designated by an 
eternal decree; and that the recipients of this Divine Life 
can never lose it, or fail to secure the everlasting reward of 
the righteous. 

The larger class of the adherents of the popular theology 
maintain, instead of the last proposition, 

3rd. That men may fall from grace. That the Divine Lifi 
may be often lost and recovered ; and that the way to recover 
it is to repeat the process by which it was first obtained — that 
is, by certain well known appliances, to stimulate the feelings, 
and to seek for the experiences which were at first regarded 
as the beginning and the assurance of the Divine Life. 

This modification of the popular theology agrees, it will be 
perceived, with the Romish system previously described, in 
the principle that the Divine Life can be thus repeatedly and 
entirely lost, and as often and as suddenly regained. But it 
differs again from that system in this, that instead of going 
to the Priest to receive the Divine Life anew from him, 
through the instrumentality of a newly invented Sacrament, 
the devotee of the last system waits upon the exercises of a 
protracted meeting, until the desired point of excitement, that 
may be regarded as a Divine impulse, is reached. 

It is not our purpose now to encounter or to expose either 
of these false systems — the human substitutes for the counsels 
of Heavenly Wisdom. The simple description of them in 
the plain didactic method which we have adopted, will enable 
every student of the Bible to perceive how far they deviate 
from that full and perfect standard of truth. And the posi- 
tive proof which we intend to offer of the several propositions 
cf the true Gospel will be the best refutation of these oppos- 


tug dogmas. But as both these human systems derive a good 
deal of popular favor and apparent plausibility from a misap- 
prehension of certain expressions in the Epistles of St. John, 
we will begin our examination by an attempt to ascertain the 
true meaning of those expressions. 

As our fifth proposition provides for a perpetual growth of 
the Divine Life, from the first beginnings to the highest 
attainments of holiness, so it allows for the continued exist- 
ence of the evil of corrupt nature, not yet subdued, in those 
who have received the Holy Spirit; and perhaps never to be 
subdued, on account of the faithlessness of the subject of this 
Divine grace. For as the evil nature and the Divine nature 
have entered into antagonism in the same person, the evil may 
be so entertained as to be always predominant, and ultimately 
to drive away the Spirit of life and holiness. 

To this existence and possible triumph of a sinful disposi- 
tion, in the subject of Divine grace, the expressions of St. 
John, before referred to, are objected. They are the follow- 
ing: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for 
his seed remaineth in him; and he can not sin, because he is 
born of God." "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh 
the world." "We know that whosoever is born of God sin- 
neth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, 
and that wicked one toucheth him not." (1st St. John iii, 9; 
v, 4-18.) 

These are certainly very strong and emphatic expressions. 
But if taken literally, and apart from the purpose of the 
Apostle, they will prove too much for any system of theology. 
For thus taken, these expressions would prove that whosoever 
is born of God can never, under any contingency, commit sin. 
But this is directly opposed to universal experience, to the 
whole tenor of Scripture, to many positive declarations of the 
Bame Apostle, and to every theory of religion. The same 


system of interpretation would make this very Epistle a col- 
lection of contradictions. The Apostle positively declares 
that "whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, 
God dwelleth in him, and he in God." (iv, 15.) Again, " Who- 
soever belie veth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God." (v. 1.) 
The way to understand these and like expressions in the 
Epistle, is to look at its purpose. That purpose was princi- 
pally to furnish to Christians a number of practical and ex- 
perimental tests of their continuance in the faith, and of their 
perseverance in the way of holiness. Each one of these 
aphorisms is evidently designed for the use of the elect chil- 
dren of God, as a personal test for determining whether tJiey 
are practically living to the new and Divine nature, or to the 
old and carnal nature. Interpreted by this obvious purpose 
of the Apostle, the whole Epistle coincides with the analogy 
of faith in assuming the fact of the co-existence of the good 
and evil nature in every man; and of the perpetual conflict 
between them until one or the other is subdued. Nothing in 
this Epistle, therefore, is at all repugnant to that which we 
have assumed to be the Church's teaching and the Gospel 
plan of salvation. The Apostle simply takes several distinct 
and separate results of the Divine Life on the one hand, and 
of the Carnal Life on the other, and applies each in turn to 
the determination of the question, whether the common sub- 
ject of both is practically and habitually living to the one or 
to the other. "Whosoever is born of God," is therefore 
equivalent, for this purpose of the Apostle, to the formula — 
Whosoever is truly and faithfully living under the power and 
influence of the new and Divine Life. Such a one acknowl- 
edges " that Jesus is the Christ." He does not willingly and 
habitually commit sin, but strives against the sinful disposi- 
tion. By prayer, watchfulness, the practice of repentance, 
and other means of grace, he is gradually subduing the carnal 


nature, the tendency to siu; and the Divine Life is acquiring 
the entire mastery of his soul and body. 

"The children of the Devil," on the other hand, in the 
sense of the Apostle, are those who submit themselves to the 
power of carnal nature — who, having received the Spirit of 
God, the new and Divine Life, resist that Spirit, live in contin- 
ual opposition to His influence and teaching, and are thus 
gradually destroying the Divine Life in their souls. 
Holy Leighton thus expresses the whole truth : 
"The righteous be they that are students of obedience and 
holiness, that desire to walk as in the sight of God, and to 
walk with God as Enoch did; that are glad when they can 
any way serve Him, and grieved when they offend Him; that 
feel and bewail their unrighteousness, and are earnestly 
breathing and advancing forward ; have a sincere and unfeigned 
love to all the commandments of God, and diligently endeavor 
to observe them. . . On the other side, evil doers are they 
that commit sin with greediness; that walk in it, make it their 
way, that live in sin as their element, taking pleasure in unright- 
eousness, as the Apostle speaks; their great faculty and their 
great delight lies in sin ; they are skillful and cheerful evil 

doers In a word, this opposition lieth mainly in 

the bent of the affection, or in the way it is set. The godly 
man hates the evil he (possibly by temptation) hath been 
drawn to do, and loves the good he is frustrate of, and hav- 
ing intended, hath not attained to do. The sinner that hath 
his denomination from sin as his course hates the good that 
sometimes he is forced to do, and loves that siu which many 
times he does not, either wanting occasion and means, and so 
he can not do it, or, through check of an enlightened con- 
science, possibly dares not do : the strength of his affection is 
sarried to sin, as in the weakest godly man there is that pre- 
dominant sincerity and desire of holy walking, according to 


which he is called a righteous person." (Com. on 1 Peter, 
iii, 12.) 

Having disposed of this source of objection, we will look 
now at some of the proofs of those propositions in regard to 
the way of life, which we have affirmed to be the teaching 
of the Church of Christ. 

32 Death of ^ ne nrst proposition of the true Gospel — 

all Mankind in the foundation upon which the whole super- 
Adam. structure of a Christian life is built — declares 

that the entire race of man is by nature fallen, degenerate, 
dead. That each human being is so "far gone from original 
righteousness, as of his own nature to be inclined to evil;" 
so that "the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit," and 
"is not subject to the law of God." (Art. 9.) 

This proposition ought to be sufficiently proved for Church- 
men by the above express declaration of the article to that 
effect. The language and spirit of all our formularies as- 
sumes this truth as a postulate : and the testimony of reason, 
observation, and Scripture, all concur in the same conclusion. 

From the Scripture we learn that the original penalty of 
transgression affixed to the one positive enactment of the 
Paradisiac state was death — a dissolution of the original 
union between God and man. "In the day that thou eatest 
thereof thou shalt surely die." Accordingly, in that very 
day on which he sinned, the fallen rebel was driven forth 
from the place where that communion had subsisted; and 
cherubims and a flaming sword were stationed, "which turned 
every way to keep the way of the tree of life." The mor- 
tality of the body was involved in this death, as one of its 
ulterior consequences; but so far from constituting the prin- 
cipal burden of the sentence, it did not occur for several 
hundred years after the fall; and under the economy of 
grace it has been made a necessary means of relief from other 


consequences of the same judgment, and the passage from a 
world of tribulation to a heaven of glory. 

It will be unnecessary to recapitulate the various familiar 
passages of Scripture which show the completeness and univer- 
sality of the natural corruption of man. "Can a clean thing 
come out of an unclean?" is an interrogatory of Scripture 
which reason and observation answer unhesitatingly in the 
negative. As Adam essentially was, so his posterity must 
continue to be, unless the Almighty, by a further interposi- 
tion, infuse a new element of life and character into His de- 
generate creature. To inform us of such an interposition on 
the part of our Heavenly Father, and of the manner of it, 
is the purpose of the blessed Gospel. " For as in Adam all die, 
even so in Christ shall all be made alive." And what consti- 
tutes this death in Adam and this life in Christ the Apostle 
plainly tells us. "For they that are after the flesh do mind 
the things of the flesh ; but they that are after the Spirit the 
things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; 
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the 
carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to 
the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that 
are in the flesh can not please God." (Rom. viii, 5-8.) "If ye 
live after the flesh ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit 
do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Rom. viii, 13.) 

Here it is abundantly affirmed that the natural man is 
really dead unto God, and to the things of God; that he is 
at enmity with God, and therefore hates and opposes Him 
and His will. That he neither is nor can be subject to the 
law of God ; and therefore he is incapable of good in thought, 
word, and deed. For as the law of God commandeth the 
things which are good, in thought, word, and deed, he who 
can not obey that law must be under an inevitable incapacity 
to do, think, or speak, any thing that is good. 


The same Apostle, in another place, states, in yet more 
Btartling terms, the utter degeneracy and deadness of mere 
'human nature in regard to all that is good and pure. For 
he affirms that it is incapable of receiving or of knowing 
the things that are freely given to us of God — that is, all 
spiritual truth. "The natural man receiveth not the things 
of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: 
neither can he knoio them, because they are spiritually dis- 
cerned" And he had previously illustrated this proposition 
by an argument derived from the nature of things. "For 
what man," he says, "knoweth the things of a man, save the 
spirit of man that is in him? Even so the things of God 
knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. " "Now we have 
received the Spirit of God, that we might know the things 
that are freely given to us of God." (1 Cor. ii, 12.) Again: 
" For we know that the law is spiritual ; but I am carnal, 
sold under sin." "For I know that in me (that is, in my 
flesh) dwelleth no good thing." (Rom. vii, 14, 18.) 

We have dwelt the longer upon the Scriptural testimony 
to this proposition, because a clear and full understanding of 
it is essential to a correct appreciation of all the rest of the 
Gospel system. 

The formularies of the Church are equally full in dis- 
claiming for the natural man all capacity for good, and in 
ascribing ail the good of which we are conscious in ourselves 
to the immediate gift of God by His Holy Spirit. The 
Collect for peace in the evening service declares that "all 
holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed 
from God;" and can not therefore be the dictate of the nat- 
ural heart, which, is at enmity with God. The address in 
the beginning of the Baptismal Office says : " For as mueli 
us all men are conceived and born in sin, (and that which is 
born of the flesh is flesh,) and they who are in the flesh can 


not please God, but live in sin." In the Collects we find the 
following express, and many more implied, recognitions of the 
same truth. "Almighty God, who seest that we have no 
power of ourselves to help ourselves," (2nd S. in Lent.) 
"As by thy special grace preventing us, thou dost put into 
our minds good desires; so by thy continual help we may 
bring the same to good effect," (Easter.) "Who alone canst 
order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men," (4th af. 
Easter.) " From whom all good things do come, grant that 
by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are 
good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same," 
(5th af. Easter.) " Because through the weakness of our mor- 
tal nature, we can do no good thing without thee," (1st af. 
Trinity.) "Grant to us the spirit to think and to do always 
such things as are right; that we who can not do any thing 
that is good without thee," (9th af. Trinity.) " Of whose only 
gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true 
and laudable service," (13th af. Trinity.) "Forasmuch as 
without thee we are not able to please thee," (19th af. Trini- 
ty.) " Who maketh us both to will and to do those things which 
are good and acceptable unto thy Divine Majesty," (Confirma- 
tion Office.) "The condition of man after the fall of Adam is 
such that he can not turn and prepare himself by his own 
natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon 
God : wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant 
and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ 
preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working 
with us when we have that good will." (Art. 10.) 

To crown the whole of this testimony, the Christian Creed 
teaches us to believe in the Holy Ghost as the Author and 
Giver of Life. This, like all the articles of the Creed, is 
brief, but very full and expressive. If without the inspira- 
tion of the Holy Ghost there can be no true life, then the 


mere carnal nature, devoid of that Spirit, must be altogether 
dead unto God and the things of God : and therefore insen- 
sible to goodness, incapable of knowing God, of loving, fear- 
ing, or obeying Him. 

With this ample testimony of the Scriptures and the Church 
reason concurs. For how can that being who is cut off from 
all communion with God, the Source and Fountain of good, 
and is at enmity with Him, be capable of doing good, or of 
delighting in goodness? If man's nature is essentially cor- 
rupt, and inclined to evil, as universal observation attests, how, 
but by the direct inspiration of the Almighty, can that nature 
be turned to good, or be made capable of appreciating and 
enjoying that which is good? 

The doctrine thus conclusively proved by so many weighty 
testimonies, is that which the Pelagian heresy vainly attempted 
to overturn. Very like to this Pelagian heresy, and as directly 
opposed to this doctrine, and to the testimonies by which 
it is established, is the notion that there were some relics of 
the heavenly image left in Adam, and consequently in his 
posterity, apart from Christ and independently of redemption, 
by which men can perform some good things, and from which 
are derived that amiability and nobleness of character by 
which many persons are distinguished. On the contrary, it 
has been fully proved that the natural condition of man is a 
death, an utter insensibility to all goodness. There were 
powers and faculties left in man by the fall ; but these, being 
cut off from the Fountain of goodness, were only and wholly 
inclined to evil. If, therefore, any good is found in man, its 
source must be elsewhere than in his own nature. 

The Gospel tells us whence that goodness proceeds which we 
find every-where to co-exist with the evil in the heart of man. 
And it further tells us how, and upon what inducement, that 
new capacity for goodness came. 


It is not intended by the terms of this first proposition to 
determine the mode of this vitiation. What is called by some 
the Catholic, in contradistinction to the Calvinistic theory, 
puts the effect of the fall in these terms . 

"Man's Free-will is thereby weakened, and a bias toward 
evil established within him, and this to such a degree, that 
without Divine aid he can not attain to good." 

This is the fearful consequence of that change of relations, 
that severance from God, which the Scriptures so emphatically 
term death. An established bias toward evil, to such a degree 
that man can not attain to good, is vitiation enough to satisfy 
the terms of this proposition, and the language of the Scrip- 
tures and of the Church which it embodies. 

And here it is well to remember that the words Life and 
Death are but terms of relation. Natural life is to us the 
union of soul and body; natural death, the severance of 
that connection. Spiritual life is the union between God and 
man; spiritual death, the severance of that union. This 
spiritual death was the penalty threatened and visited upon 
the first natural head of the human race. The re-estab- 
lishment of that union as a pure gift of God, so as to 
strengthen the Free-will and counteract the bias to evil, was 
the work of the Second Adam, "from the foundation of the 

Bishop Seabury has admirably stated this meaning of Life 
and Death as terms of relation: "Death does not mean the 
end of our existence, but the end of a certain mode of exist- 
ing. By death, in the ordinary sense of the word, we do not 
mean a ceasing to exist, but the ceasing of our present life. 

Adam, therefore, really and truly died the 

very day he transgressed. He killed that nature and life 
which he received from God, and acquired a new nature and 
life, in which all his posterity have been born. He put an 


end to that perfect and holy state in which God created him; 
and he obtained, in the room of it, a state of error, and vice, 
and sin. Consider, now, what is necessary to be done for his 
redemption. That life which he acquired by his fall must be 
made to cease, and that life which he lost by his fall must be 
revived in him. . . . And whatever was necessary to be 
done for Adam in this case, was also necessary to be done for 
his whole posterity. Here the goodness of God prevented 
even his wishes. No sooner had man sinned than God was 
in Christ, reconciling the world — human nature — unto Him- 
self." (Published in Amer. Ch. Monthly for May, 1858.) 
23. the Untvee- 2. The second proposition affirms the uni- 
sality of Re- versality of redemption. "If any man sin, we 
have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ 
the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins; and 
not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 
(1 St. John ii, 1, 2.) 

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." 
" That was the true light which lighteth every man that com- 
eth into the world." "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh 
away the sins of the world." (St. John i, 4, 9, 29.) 

" For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive." "The first man Adam was made a living soul; 
the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. Howbeit that 
was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and 
afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the 
earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." 
(1 Epis. to Cor. xv, 22, 45, 46, 47.) 

"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus 
judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead ; and that 
he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth 
live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and 


" God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." (2 
Cor. v, 14, 15, 19.) The first passage from 2 Corinthians 
illustrates a beautiful remark of Archbishop Sumner, that St. 
Paul never mentions condemnation, except as the subordinate 
correlative of redemption, and to show the quality and extent 
of redeeming love. 

"As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to 
condemnation ; even so by the righteousness of one, the Free 
G-IFT came vpon all men unto justification of life." "That 
as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign 
through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our 
Lord." (Rom. v, 18, 21.) 
U the holy ^. From the right hand of the Eternal 

Ghost the Majesty, where he ever liveth to make inter- 
cession for us, Christ hath sent His Holy 
Spirit to be the Teacher, Monitor, and Guide of the souls for 
which He died, and to dwell in the hearts of men, the prin- 
ciple of a new and Divine Life — the bond of reunion between 
God and man. 

In the Scriptures, and in all Christian theology, the Holy 
Ghost is declared to be, since the ascension of Christ into 
heaven, the ever-present Minister of salvation, the Repre- 
sentative of the Father and the Son. The power of the Holy 
Ghost unites us to Christ, makes Christ to be present with us, 
forms Christ within us, gives efficacy to all the ministrations 
of the Gospel. 

"It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not 
away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart 
I will send him unto you." (St. John xvi, 7.) "I will pray 
the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he 
may abide with you forever." (St. John xiv, 16.) "It is the 
Spirit that quickeneth." (St. John vi, 63.) "Joseph, thou 
son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for 


that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." (St 

Matt, i, 20.) 

"I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of 

Life." (Nicene Creed.) 
To Spiritual ^' "^ ]S redemption from death, and this 

Life imparted consequent gift of life, are as extensive and as 
universal as the previous condemnation which 

had come into the world by sin. For as the blessed Savior 

came to make an atonement for the sins of mankind, so like- 
wise He is declared to be "the True Light which lighteth 
every man that cometh into the world." (St. John i, 9.) 

The Apostle, indeed, makes this proposition to be the 
more certain and inevitable by arguing that it must, a forti- 
ori, be so. He says, "If by the offense of one many be dead, 
much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is 
by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." "For 
if by one man's offense death reigned by one ; much more 
they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of 
righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. There- 
fore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men 
to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free 
gift came upon all men unto justification of life." "Where 
sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath 
reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through right- 
eousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 
v, 15-21.) 

It is this universality of redemption, and of the capacity 
of salvation, which truly entitles the revelation of Jesus Christ 
to be called the Gospel, or "glad tidings of great joy to all 
people." This was the description which the Angels gave 
of that which they came to announce, when at the birth of 
the Son of God they sang, "Peace on earth, good will to 


But if the redemption which is in Christ Jesus was pro- 
vided only for a few, and if the consequent salvation be pos- 
sible only to that select number, then the message which the 
Angels brought would be bad news of great sorrow to all the 
rest of mankind : and that express declaration of the blessed 
Savior himself, that " God sent not His Son into the world to 
condemn the world, but that the world through Him might 
be saved," would be plainly and flatly contradicted. Our 
Savior commanded His Apostles to go into all the world and 
preach the Gospel to every creature; calling all men to re- 
pentance and remission of sins, and teaching every man to 
believe that Christ died for him. But if salvation be not 
possible to all men, then the ministers and ambassadors of 
Christ would stand in the name of the God of Truth with a 
falsehood on their tongues, with which to mock and delude 
the unhappy sons of perdition. 

To this let us only add these Scriptures, "That He by the 
grace of God might taste death for every man." (Heb. ii, 9.) 
"I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, 
intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for 
this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 
who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the 
knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. ii, 1, 3, 4, 5.) 

But if Christ died for all, how is the benefit of his death 
applied to all? We have before proved that man, of his own 
nature, is incapable of thinking, doing, or desiring any good 
thing; that he is dead to goodness and to God. Redemption 
from death, therefore, must be something more than the sat- 
isfaction made upon the Cross for the sins of the world. It 
must include the gift of life — the capacity to know, fear, obey, 
and love God. This life, this capacity for holiness, is a neces- 
sary part of redemption, and is therefore the gift of God to 
all who are redeemed, to every one for whom Christ died. 


Unless this new life from God be a part of the redemption 
that is in Christ Jesus, not only would the death and sacrifice 
of Christ have been vain and idle, but it would be impossible 
to bring men into judgment for their conduct in this life. 
For trust or power, and responsibility, are commensurate and 
inseparable. Without the first there can be no such thing as 
the second. Responsibility for wrong necessarily presupposes 
the capacity to do right. There can be no moral evil where 
the capacity to do good is denied. This higher life, there- 
fore- -the power to apprehend, to love, and to do good — must 
be superinduced upon human nature as a supernatural gift, 
in order to make the judgment of men — the acquittal of the 
righteous and the condemnation of the wicked — a possible 
thing in the Divine economy. 

How then is this new and Divine Life imparted? The 
answer to this question explains to us the reason for the reve- 
lation to man of the adorable mystery of the Holy Trinity. 
As the Eternal Son became our Redeemer, Mediator, and 
effectual Intercessor; so, to complete the work which He 
began, iv make effectual for our salvation His sacrifice, medi- 
ation, and intercession, the Holy Ghost was sent to dwell in 
the hearts of men; to be the agent of reunion between God 
and man ; to be the source and beginning of that new life 
from which comes the capacity of holiness, the power to know 
and to love God, and to obey and love His commands. 
Therefore the Christian Creed teaches us to believe, not only 
in the Father Almighty, and in the Only Begotten Son, but 
in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life. Therefore 
it was " expedient for us," that, when the sacrificial work of 
the Son was finished, He should be received into the heavens, 
and send down from thence, in newness and fullness of power 
and manifestation, this Divine Source and Author of Life, to 
abide with men, and to restore them to the lost image of God. 


And, as in the counsels of the Divine economy, the Son 
was slain from the foundation of the world, that men might 
be pardoned and accepted for His sake, so was the gift of the 
Holy Ghost, the purchase of that Son's death and love, made 
over to mankind from the beginning, that in every man born 
into the world there might be a capacity for holiness and for 

The Scriptural testimony to this great fact of the indwell- 
ing of the Spirit in the hearts of all men in all ages, in 
emphatic and conclusive. It is not probable that the wicked- 
ness of men has ever again reached the point which it had 
attained at the close of the Antediluvian period. And then, 
we are informed, that the Spirit had been unceasingly striving 
with men for their salvation ; and that God was determined 
to cut off from the earth the hardened sinners with whom He 
would no longer permit that Spirit to strive and dwell. 

That the same Spirit of light and life continued to dwell 
with men in the ages between the flood and the Advent of 
Messiah, is abundantly evident, not only from the necessity 
of the case, because essential to our probationary state, and 
from the fruits of the Spirit, which at all times were mani- 
fested by the sons and daughters of men, but likewise from 
numerous express notices of the fact in the Old Testament. 
u Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them," is the 
confession of all the people in Nehemiah ix, 20. "Take not 
thy Holy Spirit from me," "Stablish me with thy free Spirit," 
were the prayers dictated by that same Spirit for the use of 
every one of the people of God. See numerous testimonies 
to the same effect. 

By the agency of this all-pervading Spirit alone can the 
declaration of the Apostle be true, "that Jesus Christ is the 
true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the 
world." St. Paul expressly affirms that "the manifestation 


of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." (1 Cor. 
xii, 7.) 

"The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared 
to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness," &c. (Titus 
ii, 11, 12.) "Of his fullness have all we received, and grace 
for grace." (St. John i, 16.) "This is the condemnation, 
that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness 
rather than light, because their deeds were evil. He that 
doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made 
manifest, that they are wrought in God." (St. John iii, 
19, 21.) Here the principle is fully and plainly declared, 
that there is no condemnation except to those who turn from 
the light. And as the Apostle had previously announced 
that the True Light had enlightened every man that came 
into the world, so the condemnation is as universal as the love 
and choice of darkness. The parable of the talents conveys, 
in the most striking and forcible manner, the same great 
truth, that no more is required of any man than the use and 
improvement of that which has been given him. 

In the Epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul thus describes the 
condition of every man that hath lived in the world: "The 
flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the 
flesh: and these are contrary, the one to the other: so that 
ye can not do the things that ye would." He then enu- 
merates the works of the flesh, some of which, in various 
degrees and proportions, have been exhibited in the life of 
every man. Afterward he tells us which are the fruits ot 
the Spirit. And of these likewise it may be confidently 
affirmed, that some of them, as love, joy, peace, gentleness, 
goodness, meekness, &c, have been beautifully manifested in 
every human being that has lived. Every good and pure 
affection that moves the heart of man is the Divine testimony 
within him to the New Life which he has received ; is the 


earnest of his calling to be the child of God, and the inher- 
itor of everlasting blessedness. If, as has been abundantly 
proved, man can think, feel, and do no good thing without the 
inspiration of God's Spirit, then every good thought, feelings 
and act, must of necessity manifest the presence and power 
of that Spirit. And the condition of every man before God 
is determined by the choice which each one may make to be 
guided by the Spirit into all holy obedience, or to be led cap- 
tive by the flesh in the way of sin and death. 

The Scriptures not only in a few passages declare this truth, 
but every-where assume it, by appealing to the capacity 
which is in every human being to know, believe, and obey 
the truth. "Grieve not the Spirit of God; quench not the 
Spirit; harden not your hearts; resist not the Spirit;" is the 
constant exhortation of the inspired Word. The same thing 
is virtually and fully affirmed by every preacher of the Gos- 
pel in the world; for they exhort and beseech each man to 
believe that Jesus Christ is his Savior; that He hath died 
for him; and that He invites and calls this sinner to come 
unto Him that he may be saved; and that if he perish it 
will be his own fault for refusing to heed and obey this call. 

This doctrine of the true Gospel, which we have thus 
largely proved, alone worthily and sufficiently magnifies the 
grace of God, "in that it wholly excludes the natural man 
from having any place or portion in his own salvation, by any 
acting, moving, or working of his own," but refers all to the 
quickening and informing power of God's Spirit. And, "as 
it makes the whole salvation of man solely and alone to de- 
pend upon God, so it makes his condemnation wholly and in 
every respect to be of himself." No place is left by this doc- 
trine for the intrusion into Christian theology of the Pelagian 
and Socinian heresy, which exalts the light of nature, and 
attributes so much power and influence in the guidance of 


men to the natural conscience. We have seen that the light 
of nature in fallen man is nothing but gross darkness. That 
which has been falsely called such was the True Light, in 
whom is Life; "and the Life was the light of men; and The 
Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended 
it not." 

The vice of Pelagianism, that which made this error to be 
a pernicious and deadly heresy, was its denial of one of the 
articles of the Creed, that the Holy Ghost is the Author and 
Giver of all spiritual life. By assuming for man, in his natu- 
ral state, a capacity to hear, receive, and believe the Gospel, 
it discharged the Holy Spirit from His peculiar office and 
operation in the work of human salvation. The doctrine 
that the Holy Spirit is given to every man, is therefore the 
precise refutation of Pelagianism : because it takes the very 
same facts relied upon for the support of that error, and ac- 
counts for those facts by proving them to depend upon the 
gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Neither is it the part of the natural conscience to be the 
guide or the teacher of men. The Spirit of Truth alone can 
exercise that prerogative. Natural conscience holds the 
office of a Judge, seated in the soul of man, and manifesting 
its presence and power only by producing a sense of compla- 
cence and pleasure when we do good ; and by the application 
of a scorpion lash to the offender against a known law. But 
the conscience must itself be rightly instructed in order to 
know good from evil. This work of instruction the Holy 
Spirit performs for all men to a certain extent, using for that 
purpose various external agencies. One of these external 
agencies employed by the Holy Spirit is the traditional 
knowledge of right and wrong incorporated in the civil laws, 
and in the popular religions of all people. 

But what is natural conscience? The blessed Savior 


promising the Comforter, the Holy Spirit in the fullness of 
His power, said : " And when He is come He will reprove the 
world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." (St. 
John xvi, 8.) There could not be a more accurate description 
of the known operation of conscience in our nature, in all 
ages and upon all persons, than is contained in these words. 
This would seem to show that conscience, that mysterious and 
transcendent power, seated in the tuman soul as a ruler and 
judge, is no integral part of our fallen nature, but is the 
witness and voice of God himself, dwelling in us by His 
Spirit, to govern and direct, yet in subordination to human 
will, all the faculties of nature. All of conscience that would 
seem to be left to mere nature by this description of the office 
of the Holy Spirit, is simple sensibility to the impressions 
and monitions of the Spirit. 

The well known operation of conscience in redeemed hu- 
manity is to distinguish between vice and virtue, between sin 
and righteousness, and to testify of a coming judgment for 
these things. And this is precisely the work attributed to 
the Holy Ghost by our Lord. The subsequent words of the 
promise only indicate further a specific rule of the Spirit's 
action under the increased light of the Christian dispensation. 
He was specially to "convince the world of sin" under that 
brighter light, because men were so entranced by sin that they 
refused to recognize and believe in Jesus, the incarnate good- 
ness, the highest manifestation of God. They were also now 
to be more effectually convinced "of righteousness," because 
the man Christ Jesus having gone away from them, the Spirit 
which He promised does actually impart to all who will be 
led by Him that same righteousness which Jesus manifested 
in His human life. 

Again, under the new outpouring of the Spirit, the world is 
more powerfully convinced "of judgment," because the king- 


doms of light and darkness are more strongly discriminated. 
The rulers and subjects of each are manifested in direct and 
irreconcilable antagonism. In the obscurer light of previous 
ages and of other systems, even the worshipers of God 
worshiped also the prince of this world, and all the powers 
of darkness, as gods. Now these powers are disclosed in their 
true character, judged, condemned, and execrated as devils. 

This identification of conscience with the operations of the 
Holy Ghost in man, brings into beautiful apposition and accord 
some of the most startling phenomena of our nature, and 
some of the like startling declarations of God's holy Word. 

We have all known and wondered at that strange phenom- 
enon, a perverted conscience. W T e have seen, in society and 
in history, a conscience tampered with and its first pure whis- 
perings disobeyed, turned to be the favorer and counselor of 
the most atrocious crimes. In exact accordance with this 
fact the eternal truth announces: "Thus saith the Lord God; 
Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in 
his heart, and putteth the stumbling-block of his iniquity 
before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will 
answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his 
idols. . . . And if the prophet be deceived when he 
hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. 
. . . The punishment of the prophet shall be even as the 
punishment of him that seeketh unto him; that the house of 
Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted 
any more with all their transgressions." (Ezek. xiv, 4, 9, 
10, 11.) 

A fearful instance of this method of dealing with men is 
prominently recorded in the Divine Word. Balaam received 
a clear and distinct command from God in regard to the sub- 
ject of his inquiry. (Numb, xxii, et seq.~) But he put the 
stumbling-block of his covetousness before his face, and went 


to inquire of the Lord again. And then God answered him 
accordiug to his idols, and as plainly commanded him to do 
that which He had before forbidden, and which was directly 
opposed to His own will. 

What is this transaction, and the corresponding principle 
of the Divine government announced to the prophet Ezekiel. 
but a translation into the plain language of revealed truth of 
those obscure and intricate mazes which we call the workings 
of conscience? It is in accordance with this teaching that 
the New Testament writers say so little about hearkening to 
the voice of conscience, and exhort so earnestly and contin- 
ually to hearken to the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, to 
grieve not the Spirit. For this language would seem to be 
simply the plain truth of those phenomena of our complex 
being, which, in all human disquisitions upon the conscience, 
are so obscure and difficult. And if this be a true account 
of conscience, then, of course, our fourth proposition is proved, 
yet again, by the conjoint testimony of Scripture and of all 
„ « „ ^ 5th. Our fifth proposition affirms that the 

go. The Divine _ _ . 

Life and the Divine Life thus given to every man is a germ, 
mal Life co- a geec j w } 1 i c } 1 ^ oes no t, necessarily, and bv the 

exist. The con- j ' J 

flict between force of the mere gift, destroy and take the 
place of the carnal nature, but co-exists with 
that carnal nature, and enters into conflict with all that is evil 
and depraved in the natural life; and, if properly entertained 
and nurtured, will ultimately overcome, mortify, and kill all 
the evil of corrupt nature, and substitute for that evil, purity, 
goodness, and every Divine affection. 

The principle here announced is in direct opposition both 

to the Romish theory and to the popular theology before 

noticed. A correct apprehension of it will disabuse the mind 

of the fallacies of both systems. But it is with thft latter 



that the understandings of the people have been most seri- 
ously entangled. Each of these systems looks to a time and 
place when the new Divine Life is infused into the soul in 
fullness of strength and vigor; and this first creation of the 
new man is represented to be coincident with the destruction 
of the old and carnal nature. One system fixes the time and 
place of this great change at Baptism. The other designates 
the real or supposed conversion of the adult subject as the 
precise period. The experience of universal humanity con- 
tradicts both systems, and coincides with the Gospel teaching, 
that the carnal and the Divine Life co-exist in every human 
being; that a struggle ensues between them, which results in 
the gradual subjection and ultimate destruction of one or the 
other; and that according to the issue of this conflict, upon 
one side or the other, will be the destiny of each man for 
heaven or for hell. For each man will go to that place for 
which, by the character and the issue of this conflict, he is 
fitted and prepared. 

The Gospel conveys to us this all-important truth, in 
many of its varied forms of instruction, by parable, analogy, 
and didactic teaching. The Divine Life in the soul of man 
is compared to the mustard -seed, which when first put into 
the ground is less than the least of all seeds, but presently 
springs up and becomes a tree in which the birds find shel- 
ter. It is the little leaven hid in two measures of meal, 
which gradually penetrates, and by and by leavens the whole 
mass. It is every-where illustrated by the nature and condi- 
tion of the physical system, commencing with an embryo ex- 
istence, and passing through the varied stages of human 
growth and development, to the stature and maturity of men 
and women in Christ Jesus. So apposite is this illustration, 
and so minutely is it employed, that the very food adapted to 
the different stages of physical growth is used to designate 


the kinds of instruction best fitted for the several stages of 
development in the Divine Life — as milk for babes, and 
strong meat for full grown men. 

To the same effect are those comparisons of the Christian 
state to a race, in which the runner may be hindered, and 
fail to receive the prize ; to a warfare and a battle, in which the 
champion may be worsted. But in the 6th, 7th, and 8th chap- 
ters of the Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul fully and plainly 
sets forth the whole matter. He there describes the condition 
of man with the carnal and the Divine nature struggling to- 
gether within him for the mastery. And he refers the char- 
acter and the issue of this conflict to the will of man made 
free by the Spirit of God to choose between good and evil; 
to submit to the lusts of the old and carnal nature; or to re- 
nounce that fatal subjection, and to follow the guidance of the 
Spirit of light and life. "Know ye not, that to whom ye 
yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom 
ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto 
righteousness." When we have made this good and wise 
choice of the Lord to be our God, and of the Holy Spirit to 
be our Guide and Teacher, then, mystically, and by profes- 
sion, we are dead unto sin ; and the mortification of the carnal 
nature begins and is carried on to its entire destruction. 
"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through 
the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the 
sons of God." (Rom. viii, 13, 14.) 

On this, as on every other Christian doctrine, the language 
Df the Prayer-Book is but the echo of the Bible. Article 9, 
"Of Original Sin," says: "This infection of nature doth re- 
main, yea, in them that are regenerate." And Article 15 
declares: "But all we the rest (although baptized and born 
again in Christ) yet offend in many things; and if we say 


we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 
In the Baptismal Service the prayer is made for the candi- 
dates, "that the old Adam may be so buried that the new 
man may be raised up in them : that all sinful affections may 
die in them, and that all things belonging to the Spirit may 
live and grow in them : that they may have power and strength 
to have victory, and to triumph against the devil, the world, 
and the flesh." The closing exhortation states: "Baptism 
representeth to us our profession, which is to follow the ex- 
ample of our Savior Christ, and to be made like unto Him; 
that as He died and rose again for us, so should we who are 
baptized die from sin and rise again unto righteousness; con- 
tinually mortifying all our evil and corritpt affect/ions, and 
daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living." 

According to this service, every person rightly baptized is 
dead unto sin, just as Isaac was dead unto his father when 
bound and stretched upon the altar, and the arm of the faith- 
ful patriarch, raised to execute the command of God. In 
this instance Isaac was dead in the purpose and intention of 
his believing father. He had been wholly and entirely given 
up. So when the world, the flesh, and the devil, are heartily 
and sincerely renounced in baptism, sin is dead to us in our 
will, purpose, and intention. We are no longer its servants ; 
we no longer submit to its power. But we have chosen the 
Divine Life — the adoption to be the sons of God — for our 
condition; the Lord to be our God; and the Holy Spirit to 
be our Leader and Guide. And we have vowed to wage an 
unceasing warfare against the carnal nature, the body of sin, 
with which we are still oppressed. The actual death of sin 
results from the faithful discharge of this vow, from the suc- 
cessful conduct of this warfare. We must so contend as to 
"triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh." We 
must "continually mortify all our evil and corrupt affections." 


The business and the probation of every man in this world is 
to carry out, and to bring to full effect, this Baptismal pro- 
fession; so that, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost 
working in and with us, we may overcome, mortify, and kill, 
all the evil of corrupt nature; and substitute for that evil, 
purity, goodness, and every Divine affection; and become in 
all things like unto our Savior Christ. 

The union of the baptized with Christ and His Church, 
and our consequent relation to God, as His children, and the 
heirs of eternal life, are all clearly set forth as accomplished 
in Baptism. But no mention is made, no hint is given, of 
any moral sanctification, any moral righteousness, effected, or 
begun, in baptism. On the contrary, the stipulation of the 
several parts of this moral change, to be accomplished in 
futuro, by the aid of the heavenly Grace first bestowed and 
now increased, and of the new relations now entered upon, is 
the very condition imposed upon the baptized persons. The 
whole office is framed upon the principle that one service is 
renounced, in will and profession, and another embraced ; and 
that this renunciation on the one hand, and new allegiance on 
the other are to be made good by a severe and un intermitted 
contest. The evil of our own nature to which we were sub- 
ject is indeed renounced, together with all other evil, in terms 
of present time. But so far is that evil from being destroyed, 
and substituted by true holiness and purity, that we only 
promise that, by "God's help we will endeavor not to follow 
nor be led by it." And after the Baptism we pray that the 
baptized may now "crucify the old man, and utterly abolish 
the whole body of sin." And again, at the close of the office 
the baptized are solemnly exhorted — not to retain that which 
they have received — but, to spend the whole of their lives in 
striving after that which the Romish theory says has already 
been accomplished. 


The Communion Office of the Church is constructed upon 
the recognition of the same immutable truth, of the co- 
existence of the carnal and the Divine nature in the regen- 
erate. And it is utterly irreconcilable with the systems 
which deny that truth. For it requires every communicant 
to come to the altar of God with the most humiliating con- 
fession of personal guilt and unworthiness. If, therefore, 
men were made perfectly just and holy, immaculate and 
without sin, by the Sacrament of Baptism, by the pseudo 
Sacrament of Penance, or by the exercises of a revival meet- 
ing, then these righteous persons could not lawfully be ad- 
mitted to the communion of the faithful. For, in order to 
join that communion, and to partake of the body and blood 
of Christ, they would be compelled to use a confession which 
in their case would be false and hypocritical. And all the 
Liturgies in the world are, and always have been, character- 
ized by this same feature. The universal Church, therefore, 
has made no provision whatever for the entertainment on 
earth of this class of. persons ; for it no where recognizes the 
existence of such a class. The true members of Christ's 
Church are adopted children of a Heavenly Father, who 
bears with their waywardness, rebukes their sin, chastens 
them in his love, instructs their ignorance, calls them to re- 
pentance when they go astray, and, while they submit to the 
guidance of His spirit, leads them from conquest to conquest 
over the evil of their nature, and thus reinstates them in the 
likeness of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. 
„ i 6th. Our sixth proposition affirms that the 

27. Baptism the r r 

" new Birth. Church of Christ, with all its applia oces of 
faith and holiness, has been appointed as the last, the fullest, 
and the most perfect of the means and instrumentalities for 
the nurture and development of the Divine Life, from its 
embryo existence as a power in the soul of man, through all 


the successive stages of growth, to the maturity of perfect 
manhood iu Christ Jesus: and to be introduced into that 
Church by Baptism is the second birth — the birth of water 
and of the Spirit. 

A clear apprehension of this final proposition, taken in 
connection with all that has been heretofore proved, will 
put an end to several mischievous isms and logomachies, and 
will take from true Christian people the source of much 
painful jealousy and suspicion. But we have no thought of 
recommending this proposition in a spirit of compromise, as 
a means of reconciling contending parties. Truth can make 
no compromise. Unless this proposition be true, it ought 
not to be received for any purpose. But if it be true, then all 
should heartily receive it, and rejoice in this additional proof 
that the truth will make us free from many hurtful delusions. 

The Church of Christ is represented to us in Scripture by 
all those varied figures and illustrations which convey the 
ideas of unity, nurture, and protection. It is a Garden, and 
a Vineyard, where the plants are cultivated and tended with 
unremitting care, in every stage of growth, from the planting 
of the seed to the fullest maturity of fruitfulness. It is a 
Sheepfold, where the kindest nurture is applied to the lambs 
of the flock, and where the care of the Divine Shepherd is 
manifested in the tenderest and most affecting manner. It is 
an Ark, in which a remnant is saved from destruction, and 
where the food which may sustain life for so long a period is 
amply provided. It is a Field, in which are the growing 
plants which have sprung from the seed, and are ripening for 
the harvest. It is, last of all, and chiefly, a Kingdom, in 
which is included every age and condition of humanity; and 
which is put at all points in direct antagonism with the world. 

It will be observed that every one of these representations 
»f the Church presupposes the existence of something which 


has life, to be the subject of nurture and protection. The 
Garden, the Vineyard, and the Field, are but the places where 
living seeds or plants germinate, grow, and are cultivated. 
The Ark does not produce, but merely secures and protects 
its living tenants. The Sheepfold, the City, and the King- 
dom, do not bestow life, but simply nurture, protect, and de- 
fend the subject of that life which is derived from a higher 
source. These representations, therefore, teach us that the 
Church of Christ is the appointed place in which the Divine 
Life in the soul of man is to be nurtured, developed, and 
brought to the maturity and perfection of Christian character, 
to the full proportions of a perfect man in Christ Jesus. To 
this effect precisely is the language of the Apostle, describing 
the purpose of the entire organization of the Church. "He 
gave apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and pastors, and 
teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the 
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Eph. 
iv, 11, 12.) 

Now as faith in Jesus Christ is the exclusive mean of sal- 
vation to those to whom the knowledge of Christ has been 
sufficiently proposed; and yet the Spirit of God may effect 
that salvation in some other way in those to whom this knowl- 
edge has not been brought; so the Church of Christ is the 
exclusive mean of salvation to those to whom it is sufficiently 
proposed; (he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;) 
yet the same Holy Spirit may, without the Church, nurture 
and bring to full maturity the Divine Life in the souls of 
those to whom the Church, as Christ's institution, has not 
been sufficiently proposed. But when the Gospel defines the 
terms of salvation, it speaks, of course, and only, to those 
who hear the Gospel. It is not addressed to those who can 
not hear it; and says nothing, therefore, about the provision 
which in the Divine economy is made for them. 


We are now prepared to appreciate the force, beauty, and 
expressiveness of the illustration employed by our blessed 
Lord in his conversation with Nicodemus, to explain the 
nature of the Divine Life, and the necessity for the intro- 
duction of the subject of that life into His Church or King- 
dom, by a second birth. That illustration does not differ at 
all, in the sense and meaning intended to be conveyed, from 
all the other representations of the same subject which we 
have already examined. 

We have seen that the analogy between the Divine and 
physical life of man, is frequently introduced in the inspired 
Word, and is carried out to the utmost minuteness of com- 
parison. Now recollect that it has been fully proved that the 
Divine Life as a germ — the capacity for holiness, the power 
to know and to do good, to know and to love God — is the 
gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to human nature, 
to every soul that is born into the world. How this Divine 
Life is to be nurtured and developed, so as to effect the salva- 
tion of its subject, is the purport of our Lord's communication 
to Nicodemus. 

To convey His meaning, the Savior here uses the illus- 
tration of the physical life of man, so frequently employed 
in other portions of the Bible. He tells the Jewish ruler 
that under the new economy, which he came to introduce, 
every man who would enter into the kingdom of God must 
be born again ; must be introduced into that kingdom as a 
little child, by a second birth — a birth of water and of the 
Spirit. The analogy is most forcible and expressive, and has 
been strangely misunderstood. In entire oblivion of the 
familiar facts of the case, the birth of a child has been eon- 
founded with its life, and our Lord's words interpreted as if 
these two things were one and the same. But we know that 
the birth of a child is the result and consequence of its pre- 


vious life, not the occasion of that life. It is required to be 
born because it is a living creature, which, having passed 
through an embryo existence, must now, by birth, be placed 
in new relations, and under the power of new influences and 
agencies, adapted to its further and full development and 

Our blessed Lord understood the force and meaning of the 
words and illustrations which He employed. When He 
speaks of a second birth, therefore, he evidently refers to 
something in the spiritual life analogous to the first or phys- 
ical birth. As by the first birth the living creature, the 
natural man, is introduced into the world, in order that it may 
attain to the perfection of manhood; so, by the second birth, 
of water and of the Spirit, the new creature, the subject of 
the Divine Life, is introduced into the Church of God, there 
to be trained and nurtured, under fitting influences, to the 
perfection of manhood in Christ Jesus. 

Under the Christian dispensation, this new birth of water 
and of the Spirit is just as essential to the development and 
perfection of the Divine Life in the soul of man, as is the 
birth of a child into the world, from the womb of its mother, 
essential to the development and perfection of the natural 
life. The still-born child is born indeed, but derives no ben- 
efit from its birth. Only the quick, the living child, must 
needs be born, in order that it may continue to live and grow 
by the supply of appropriate sustenance to every power and 

It is strange that the force and expressiveness of this phys- 
ical analogy should ever have been forgotten, when the very 
same distinction between life and birth was, by the Divine 
care, prominently set forth in the Christian Creed. In the 
very beginning all believers were taught that the blessed 
Savior "was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Vir- 


gin Mary." To the pattern of His most holy life all Chris- 
tian people must be conformed. The life of Christ can only 
be implanted in the nature of man by the sole operation of 
the Holy Ghost. The Christian man must thereafter "be 
Born of water and of the Spirit," "into the Kingdom of 
God." The blessed Sacrament that brings the heir of salva- 
tion into the fold of Christ, into the Kingdom of God, is 
made by the joint operation of the outward element and the 
Holy Ghost, the blessed Spirit sanctifying that element to 
its instituted purpose, and renewing the vigor of the life 
which He had before imparted. 

The efficient Agent in this new birth, this incorporation of 
the subject of the Divine Life into the body of Christ, is the 
Holy Spirit; "for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one 
body." (1 Cor. xii, 13.) The Holy Ghost is the ever- 
present and only efficient Administrator in all Christian ordi- 
nances. By the ministry of the Holy Ghost, the God-man, 
who has ascended into the heavens, is present nevertheless 
on earth in the assemblies of his faithful people; is formed 
in the heart of each believer; feeds, nurtures, and presides 
over His Church. In like manner the Holy Ghost is the 
true Minister in the mystery of the second birth. He gives 
authority to the human minister to act in the name of Christ. 
He sanctifies the water to the mystical washing away of sin. 
He comes with new power and more abundant grace into the 
soul of the new-born, enabling him to carry out the Baptis- 
mal profession, and to live according to God's law, and as the 
adopted child of a Heavenly Father. 

When our Divine Master informed Nicodemus of the 
necessity of this new birth of water and of the Spirit, the 
Jewish ruler was confounded, as all his countrymen were, 
at a doctrine so disparaging to the Mosaic economy, and 
which evidently looked to a termination of the peculiar 


privileges of the Jews. As a child of Abraham, he was a 
member of that kingdom which God had heretofore estab- 
lished on the earth. In circumcision he received the effect- 
ual sign of his admission into that kingdom. He had grown 
up to be a scribe, and teacher, and ruler in the same. He 
understood very well how a converted Gentile might be born 
again into the family and kingdom of God. For such a 
new birth by baptism was familiar to all the Jews of that 
day. It was the established custom to receive proselytes into 
the Jewish Church by baptism, and this was called their 
new or second birth. But that Nicodemus, a Jew, and a 
ruler of the Jews, should be bound to submit to the same 
great change, seemed to him to be as strange and unnatural 
as for a grown man to enter the second time into his mother's 
womb and be born. The same humbling and most unex- 
pected feature of the Christian doctrine, that in the new 
dispensation the peculiar privileges of the Jew were to be 
annulled, and that all men alike must submit to the same 
terms of salvation, hung like a veil before the hearts of the 
ancient people, and prevented them from seeing the glorious 
light that was shining in their midst. 

It was necessary that all men, Jews and Gentiles, should 
be born again into the new kingdom of our Lord and Savior 
Jesus Christ, in order that the Divine Life in every man 
should be nourished by Divine grace conveyed to the soul 
through the instituted channels of that grace. In no other 
way, under the Christian economy, could that life be sustained, 
leveloped, and carried forward through all the stages of 
growth to the maturity of manhood, to the fullness of the 
stature of Christ. 

In exact accordance with this plain and simple teaching of 
the Bible is the language of the Prayer-Book. Nowhere is 
the Divine Life said to be given or begun in Baptism. But 


the new birth — the introduction into the Church which is the 
body of Christ — the solemn adoption to be the children of 
God — is invariably made to be coincident with that sacra- 
ment: In Article 15, to be "baptized and born again in 
Christ," are used as equivalent terms. And instead of grace 
being then for the first time imparted, it is positively asserted, 
in the 27th Article, that then "grace is increased." 

Such is Baptismal Regeneration, in the sense of the Bible 
and the Church. This meaning is the only one that satis- 
fies the language used by our blessed Lord, and corresponds 
with the physical analogy by which He was pleased to illus- 
trate the mysteries and the doctrines of His kingdom. This 
meaning, and this alone, agrees with the numerous similitudes 
in the inspired Word, already referred to, by which the Divine 
Life in the soul of man, and the relation of that life to the 
Church of God, are at large described. By every one of 
these similitudes the Church is presented to us as the place 
and the agency by which the Divine Life, previously received, 
is nurtured, sustained, and developed. This meaning alone 
concurs with the analogy of faith, leaving to every other truth 
of the Gospel its fit and appropriate place. Make the begin- 
ning of the Divine Life in the soul to be in Baptism, or at 
Conversion, and we will be forced either into Pelagianism — 
holding that man in his natural state, without the grace of 
Christ, can turn, repent, believe, and do good works accepta- 
ble to God — or into the most revolting form of Calvinism — 
believing that God created the greater part of mankind under 
a pre-ordained necessity of damnation, and that in His ten- 
derest offers of mercy to these reprobates the Just and Holy 
One does but mock at the involuntary impotence and misery 
of His creatures. 

Pelagianism must be a consequence of the first supposition, 
because where there is no spiritual life there can be no capacity 


to hear, receive, and obey the Gospel; just as where there is 
no natural life there is no capacity to receive impressions from 
external objects. "The things of God knoweth no man but 
the Spirit of God." "The natural man receiveth not the 
things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto 
him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually 
discerned." (1 Cor. ii, 11, 14.)' If, therefore, there exists in 
man a power to hear, receive, and obey the Gospel, independ- 
ent of the Divine Life imparted by the Spirit of God, then 
such power must be inherent in the natural man — which is 
contrary to the Scriptures just cited, and to the Catholic 
Faith, and is the very proposition that constitutes the Pela- 
gian heresy. But we know that this power both exists and 
is exercised in persons unbaptized. Therefore, either the 
Pelagian heresy must be true, or the theory which makes the 
beginning of the Divine Life in the soul to be at Baptism 
must be false. 

The second alternative, fixing the beginning of the Divine 
Life at the Conversion of the adult subject, by inevitable ne- 
cessity excludes the rest of mankind from the capacity to 
entertain the offers of salvation, which is the extreme Calvin- 
istic theory. But both these dogmas are contrary to the 
Catholic Faith, and must be rejected along with the interpre- 
tation of Scripture which implies both or either of them. 

Again, the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, as above 
explained, is the only view of this subject that corresponds 
with the phenomena of universal humanity. That the fruits 
of the Spirit, as enumerated by St. Paul, are exhibited by all 
men of every nation, at various periods of their lives, and 
especially in childhood, is a simple fact, which the experience 
of the whole world attests* That the Gospel itself appeals 

* This assertion has been denounced as extravagant and absurd, and the demin- 
iation supported by citing the cases of Nero, Caesar Borgia, Ac. Yet surely 


to every human being, with the assumption that he has pre- 
viously received a spiritual power and discernment to hear, 
feel, understand, and obey its admonitions, is apparent to 
every reader of the Gospel. The Calvininst, indeed, manages 
to account for these facts by a newly invented distinction of 
his own between common and special grace ; the former being 
just sufficient to damn its subject, the latter enough to neces- 
sitate his salvation: thereby emulating or exceeding the im- 
piety of those Corinthians who undertook to divide Christ 
the Lord; for this system seeks to divide the Eternal Spirit! 
But he who asserts that the Divine Life is first and only im- 
parted in Baptism, has not even this miserable shift with 
which to account for the facts that he can not deny. 

The birth of water and of the Spirit, the introduction of 
the subject of Divine Grace into the Church and family of 
God, has been sneeringly called "merely a sort of external or 
relative regeneration, a regeneration of mere relations and 
circumstances" in contradistinction to "an actual regenera- 

Has the Church, then, the mystical body of Christ, fallen 
so low in the estimation of any of her loyal children, that to 
be made a member thereof, and the consequent recipient of 
such great and precious privileges, is considered so slight a 
thing, and that the words in which this event is described are 
declared to be "a trifling with very solemn language?" 

It is true, indeed, that the natural birth of a child is but 

these monsters of iniquity were children once, the selected emblems of innocence 
and purity. Have such objectors never paused to consider the profound Christian 
philosophy of the history of Hazael, in the second book of Kings? "And 
Hazael said, But what — is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great 
thing?" Hazael was a heathen, yet the Word of God, and innumerable Chris- 
tian writers and preachers — among them the sainted Bishop Wilson, of Sodor 
and Man — have used his case as a most instructive instance of the progressive 
power of evil in those who resist and grieve the Spirit of God. (See Bp. Wilson's 
Bermon on " The sin and danger of grieving the Holy Spirit of God.") 


a change of relations^ but that change involves the continued 
existence and future well-being of its subject. To be changed 
from a servant of the devil and an heir of death into a child 
of God and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven, is a 
mere change of relations. But those relations, on either side, 
are of the most awful character. Noah and his family, in- 
closed in the ark, were in a different relation to the deluge 
from the rest of the inhabitants of the earth. But that rela- 
tion involved the salvation of those by whom, it was sustained. 

The truth is, the author of that sentiment did not know 
the proper, and original, and simple meaning of the word he 
was using. He conceived of that word only in the sense 
given to it by the popular theology of dissent. Hence he 
entirely misapprehended the doctrine of the Church. The 
principal error of the statement consists in the assumption 
that a change of relations is, of necessity, merely formal and 
external. Such an assumption involves a sad confusion of 
ideas. No real transaction in the Church of God, done by 
the command of Christ, and by the ministry of the Holy 
Ghost, can be merely formal and external. A Divine power, 
an influence for eternity, involving the issues of life and 
death, are inseparably attached to every sacrament and ordi- 
nance of our holy religion. To ascertain the precise virtue 
and signification of each one of these sacraments and ordi- 
nances, is not to eviscerate them of their force, but it is to 
recognize the sternest responsibility under which Almighty 
God has placed His creature man; to learn and obey the 
truth : soberly and diligently discriminating that truth from 
the fallacies on either hand with which the devil ever seeks 
to simulate and thereby to discredit and destroy it. 

The doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration — that a man must 
be born again of water and the Spirit — that the Church is 
the appointed medium of salvation to those to whom it is 


proposed — is emphatically and specifically the great Church 
doctrine, in contradistinction to all the modern varieties of 
the loose theology of dissent. In this doctrine is involved 
many of the contested questions between these two systems 
in relation to the Ministry, the Sacraments, and the nature of 
Faith. It is therefore a fundamental verity — a mode of state- 
ment of a truth which is contained in more than one article 
of the Creed. It asserts and maintains the union which God 
has established between the power and the form of godliness. 
It repels at once the wild fanaticism which affects to be so 
spiritual that it must needs despise and reject the institutions 
of the Almighty, and the cold rationalism which would dis- 
charge the Spirit of God from His effective and essential 
agency in all the work of man's salvation. The doctrine of 
Baptismal Regeneration, truly understood, keeps together the 
things which God has joined; sets forth that, under the Gos- 
pel, the operations of the Spirit of God in man's salvation 
have been connected with the institutions of the Gospel. He, 
therefore, who describes Baptism as nothing more than a 
form, or empty sign, as merely a thing of externals, insults 
and degrades the doctrine of salvation. 

Baptism, ?ike all the other institutions of the Gospel, is both 
corporeal and spiritual. It is "an outward and visible sign," 
"effectual" to the production of the thing which it signifies. 
For the Spirit is the true and efficient Administrator of the 
Sacrament. The Spirit effects the new birth — incorporates 
the baptized into the body of Christ — bestows a larger meas- 
ure of His holy influences adapted to the state and circum- 
stances of the recipient, and continues to give power and 
efficacy to all the future discipline of the heir of salvation. 

When a Churchman, forgetting the essential distinction be- 
tween Life and Birth, inadvertently confounds these two 

things, under the name of Baptismal Regeneration, and thus 


admits in part the specific Romish theory of salvation, and 
systematically adheres to this definition, he brings a new and 
undeserved odium upon the truth ; gives occasion to the ene- 
mies of that truth to triumph; and, if he continues to be a 
Churchman, commits himself to many irreconcilable contra- 
distinctions and inconsistencies. 

But the admission of this one point of Romish doctrine 
is very apt to lead to much further departures from the 
truth. The errors of Romanism, however inconsistent with 
the truth held in connection with them, are very consistent 
with one another. They compose a logical scheme of false- 
hood, the parts of which are closely woven together. This 
doctrine, that the Divine Life is first imparted in Baptism, 
is a seminal and prolific principle of error. The earnest but 
unbalanced mind, which is once thoroughly committed to the 
belief of this principle, will be led on, step by step, to the 
adoption of its dependent falsehoods, until, in despair of rec- 
onciling the supposed truths of God with each other, or with 
the plainest dictates of right reason, the victim of. this delu- 
sion surrenders himself and all his heaven derived faculties 
to the unresisted guidance of ignorant, corrupt, and unprin- 
cipled men. 

The doctrine of Christ is not so taught by the Church of 
Christ. That in Baptism the subjects of Divine Grace re- 
ceive the seal of their adoption into the family of God — the 
sacramental assurance of the remission of sins ; that they are 
thereby made the acknowledged children of a Heavenly 
Father, entitled to all the privileges and graces of His house- 
hold ; that they then enter upon a Divinely established course 
of parental training, by which the corruption of their nature 
is to be purged away; by which, when they sin, they are to 
be chastened, rebuked, and summoned to the healthful disci- 
pline of repentance, with the full and unqualified assurance 


of the favor and loving kindness of their Heavenly Father 
when they do repent: that the abiding presence and effective 
power of the Holy Ghost to carry on this training, and 
make it effectual to salvation, is abundantly vouchsafed to its 
subjects: this is the teaching of the Church of Christ; this 
is the way of salvation to which she points the redeemed of 
the Lord ; this is the blessed condition, the glorious distinc- 
tion, of the baptized children of God. 

The same Church calls upon every human being to hear 
and obey the Spirit of God speaking within him. Every 
good thought and desire, every pure and holy affection that 
stirs the heart of man, is the witness of the presence of that 
Spirit, and of his power to sanctify and save. He who re- 
fuses to be led by this Divine Spirit of light and life into all 
holy obedience, fatally sins against the Holy Ghost, and con- 
signs himself to the perdition that must ensue. 

And now, dear reader, make this one practical and preg- 
nant application of all that we have been learning together. 
Remember that you are not to postpone the work of your 
salvation until the Spirit is bestowed upon you at some future 
period. For that Spirit, if not grieved away, already dwells 
within you. Follow its guidance, and you shall be led to 
holiness here, and to heaven hereafter. You are not to look 
for a future beginning of the Divine Life in your soul. 
That life exists already, rendering you capable of knowing 
and of obeying the truth. That life, by your care and dili- 
gence in the use of the appointed means of grace, is to be 
nurtured and nourished to the full maturity of the Christian 
character, and to a meetness for heaven and eternal joys; or 
by your neglect and sin, that life is to be extinguished, and 
your soul sunk into the darkness of an endless death. If 
heretofore you have refused to permit that life to be sus 
tained by the heavenly nutriment of Divine grace, and have 


suffered sin to remain in your mortal body, then you must be 
converted and live, or you must perish in your iniquity with 
an everlasting destruction. 
.„ „ Most of the objections to the view presented 

§8. CONSIDERA- J m r 

tion op objec- in the foregoing discussion are founded upon 
tions to this various figures of speech employed in Scrip- 

VIEW OF THE Dl- ° * r •* L 

vine Life and ture inconsistent with the language in which 
the new Birth. ^^t v * ew - g p reseB ted. It is very strange 

that so large a portion of religious controversy consists of a 
determined effort to force together inconsistent figures of 
speech, and to make them agree as different parts of the same 
representation. If this is a vice in rhetoric, it is a much 
more serious wrong in argument. A large part of the Bible 
is necessarily a representation of spiritual truths by the aid 
of material and sensible images. A great variety of illustra- 
tions are employed for the purpose of conveying the same 
truth ; and sometimes a single illustration is used in different 
places in order to convey different truths. The application 
of the figure must, in every case, be determined by the sub- 
ject matter and by the context. But the figures, the illustra- 
tions, are not doctrines, are not truths, which must be made 
to fit together and adjust themselves into a consistent system. 
Different figures to express the same truth must necessarily 
be inconsistent and incongruous with one another, while the 
truths represented by those figures are identical. One of the 
passages adduced by several persons, as a refutation of the 
principle that the Divine Life is given to every man, presents 
a striking proof of the position just mentioned. "Awake, 
thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall 
give thee light." Here, in the ardor of composition, the in- 
spired writer throws together three utterly incongruous im- 
ages, for the purpose of conveying two very important and 
perfectly accordant truths. First, the person addressed is 


said to be asleep, which presupposes life ; then he is described 
as dead ; and after he has risen from the dead, he is told that 
he shall receive light. To reconcile these images would of 
course be impossible. To treat them as substantive doctrines, 
and try to compose them into a system, would make a wretch- 
ed confusion. But there is no difficulty at all in apprehend- 
ing the truths conveyed by this forcible and lively language. 

The words Life and Death, and their cognate terms, as, to 
be begotten, to be born, to be crucified, to be buried, are all 
used in the Bible in a great variety of significations, and to 
express the most diverse truths. It is impossible to bring 
these figures together and make a good rhetorical sentence, 
or a consistent logical system out of them. They were not 
designed to be used in any such way. But it is very easy 
to ascertain the particular truth conveyed in each instance by 
the use of these terms, and compose these truths together 
into a consistent and harmonious system. 

One object of the preceding discussion has been to ascertain 
the precise truth conveyed by our Lord, in his conversation 
with Nicodemus, under the figure of a New Birth. The great 
importance of that inquiry arose from the fact that the Church 
has incorporated the illustration, and the truth conveyed by 
it, together, into the most solemn of her formularies. For 
the ministers and the members of the Church to be constant- 
ly using these formularies, and attaching to them a different 
meaning, is a fruitful source of jealousy and suspicion. In ill 
governed minds, where passion and prejudice get the better 
of judgment and charity, these feelings frequently break 
forth into toud and angry denunciation, thus bringing scandal 
upon the Church and doing great injury to religion. 

To determine the precise meaning which our blessed Lord, 
and the Church adopting his language, designed to convey 
by the image of a New Birth, does not fix the same meaning 


to the same figure, when used in a different connection in 
other parts of the inspired Word. On the contrary, it has 
been shown that, to be born of God, is used elsewhere in a 
very different sense, viz., to express that practical living- un- 
der the power of the Divine Life, which by St. Paul is de- 
scribed as being "led by the Spirit." But to determine 
accurately the sense in which this illustration was employed 
by our Savior, and in which it has been incorporated by the 
Church into her formularies, from the earliest time, does fix 
the strict, theological meaning of this language; and this 
meaning should be faithfully adhered to whenever those 
formularies are examined or explained, if theological science 
and parochial instruction are to be any thing better than a 
Babel of confusion and of misconstruction. 

The same principles of construction apply to those other 
very common and emphatic terms — Life and Death. They 
are used in the greatest variety of ways to express the most 
opposite states. In the Epistle to the Romans this imagery 
is lavishly employed in meanings which are constantly inter- 
changing. Thus, the prevalence of a carnal life, the state of 
a wicked man, is sometimes called death, sometimes life; and 
the prevalence of the Divine Life, the state of a good man, 
is called in one connection, death, in another life. The con- 
text determines the meaning in each instance. When in 
any one of these instances we have ascertained the particular 
truth announced by the apostle, it would be a very singular 
objection to that truth to allege that the apostle had ex- 
pressed a very different meaning by the use of the same illus- 
tration in another place! But this is the precise force of 
the objection to the truths herein set forth concerning the 
Divine Life and the New Birth. 

The method which I have adopted in order to determine the 
precise meaning of the phrase New Birth, as used by our 


Lord, and in the formularies of the Church, was to prove 
aliunde, from other parts of the Divine word, and of the 
teachings of the Church, the truth of certain propositions. 
Theu it was shown that the easiest, simplest, and most literal 
interpretation of the illustration under examination assumed 
a portion of these truths, and expressed the remainder. The 
sense of the illustration thus ascertained, was further shown 
to be closely analogous to the very purpose for which the 
same figure was familiarly employed by the Jews of our 
Lord's time; and that this same sense had been continuously 
given to it in every age of the Church. 

This whole argument may be very faulty, and capable of 
easy refutation; but I submit that it is no answer at all to 
cite passages either from the Bible or from eminent Christian 
writers, in which similar imagery is employed to express 
other truths. 

It is very true, as Hooker says, that "the first apparent 
beginning of life (spiritual life.) is in that Baptism which 
both declareth and maketh us Christians," just as the first 
apparent beginning of natural life is at birth. And this 
easily accounts for all the expressions that may be cited, re- ' 
ferring to natural birth, and to new birth, as the beginning, 
lespectively, of the natural and of the Divine Life. But 
this does not alter the fact that life existed in each case be- 
fore; and that it was the assumed existence of that previous 
life upon which our Savior founded His illustration of a 
birth by water and the Spirit, of a child of God into the 
kingdom or Church of Grod. 

T have acknowledged that it is incumbent on him who 
affirms the entire completeness and closeness of the analogy 
between natural and supernatural birth, to show, in some in- 
stances at least, the existence of the Divine or Spiritual life 
anterior to that "apparent beginning of life" which takes 


place in Baptism. That is, it must be proved that there is a 
reality corresponding to this feature of the illustration. If 
this is shown, then the whole truth set forth by this ex- 
pressive and beautiful illustration is fully maintained, and 
one vicious theory is refuted. If, again, it can be shown 
that this Divine or Spiritual life exists anterior to what is 
popularly termed conversion, then another mischievous error 
is put aside. The whole question then turns upon the truth 
or falsehood of this proposition: "The Holy Spirit is given 
to every man to be in him the principle of a new and Divine 
life." I must refer to the arguments already adduced in sup- 
port of this proposition. I will here only mention one or 
two additional considerations. 

By the Divine Life I mean a capacity given by the 
Spirit of God to discern, to love, and to do the things 
which the natural man, according to Scripture, can neither 
discern, love, or perform. The existence of life can only 
be shown by the phenomena of life. In order to prove the 
existence of life, it is not necessary that all the phenomena 
proper to sound and vigorous life should be manifested. 
The blind, the deaf, and the paralyzed are alive, although 
some of the manifestations of life are wanting in them. So 
in regard to spiritual life. The existence of any of the phe- 
nomena of which the natural man is said to be incapable, and 
which are declared in the Scriptures of truth to be the fruits 
of the Spirit, manifests the existence of Spiritual or Divine 
Life. What other test can we apply? Must all the phe- 
nomena of healthful and vigorous life be exhibited in each 
instance before we will allow that life exists at all? Must a 
sinner have perfected holiness before it is admitted that he 
has received any portion of the Spirit of God? If a man 
has failed to subdue an unruly temper, shall we, therefore, 
deny that he has received any grace? 


The Scriptures affirm, generally, that the natural man is 
incapable of any good. It asserts, positively and unequivo- 
cally, that certain virtues are the fruits of the Spirit. Shall 
we venture to affirm, in direct contradiction to these declara- 
tions, that man is, by nature, his perverted nature, capable 
of good? Shall we say of those very virtues enumerated as 
fruits of the Spirit, that, nevertheless, they are not fruits of 
the Spirit, but the operations of a carnal and corrupted nature? 
Unless Scripture can be thus flatly contradicted, it must be 
held as demonstrated, that every man has received the Divine 
as well as the carnal life. For all men do both good and 
evil* And the actual condition of every man is, according 
to the life he cultivates, a gradual progress towards the as- 
cendency of the good or evil that is in him; until, in the 
one case, he is prepared for the communion of the just in 
heaven or, in the other, fitted for the society of the accursed 
in hell. 

The affections of man are not like the instincts of brutes, 
fixed, unalterable, and destitute of a moral quality. When 
God bestowed upon the animal creation the affections essen- 
tial to their being and enjoyment, He did not bestow like- 
wise the moral freedom which could make them capable of 

*The able author of an article in the Edinburgh Review for October, 1853, on 
"Church Parties," fully asserts this principle, and refutes an objection to it. 
Quoting the " Recordite Party," as maintaining, " If a man be not a believer his 
virtues are nothing better than splendid sins," the Eeviewer 6ays, in a note, 
"The Recordite Party justify this assertion by appealing to the 13th Article, 
which declares that ' works done before grace have the nature of sin.' But this 
proposition, if interpreted in the Puritanic sense, would contradict the inspired 
declaration that the prayers and alms of the heathen Cornelius were acceptable 
to God. (Acts x, 4, 35.) The true meaning of the Article is only that Divine 
Grace and Human Goodness are co-extensive ; so that where there is no Grace 
there is no Goodness, and conversely, that wheresoever there is Goodness there is 
Grace. Thus the virtues of Socrates are not denied, but only ascribed to their 
true source. Whereas, in the Puritanic view, (which unhappily was aJopted by 
some of the Continental Reformers,) they are denied to be virtues at all ; and 
thus the very foundations of all religious evidence, the axiomatic ideas of mor 
ality, are cut away. (p. 145.) 


responsibility, and enable them to pervert His gifts, and to 
forfeit His favor. These affections, therefore, are in them 
neither good or evil. But in man these same affections 
have a moral quality. They are either good or evil. These 
affections are to be brought into judgment — to be the sub- 
jects of reward or punishment. How the affections of a 
corrupted creature can be evil it is easy to understand. But 
the source of their goodness it would be hard to determine, 
unless we admit the Christian doctrine that this goodness pro- 
ceeds from the Almighty — that it is the direct dictate and 
influence of God's Spirit bestowed upon every man as the in- 
estimable purchase of Christ's most precious blood. Unless 
the Spirit of God be given to enable man to "do righteous- 
ness,'.' how can he be judged for a failure to do that of which 
he is naturally incapable? If man has not received from 
God the power to do good, to walk uprightly, to obey the 
law, then there can be no moral quality in his actions. They 
are neither good or evil. This power must either be a natu- 
ral endowment, derived from the original creation, and never 
forfeited or lost, or it must be a supernatural gift bestowed 
through Jesus Christ, for His sake, and on account of the 
virtue of His sacrifice and mediation. The first of these 
alternatives is the assertion of Deism and Pelagianism. The 
second is the Christian doctrine. I can see no room or place 
for any third alternative. 

These are general considerations which coincide with all 
the Scriptural authorities to the same effect heretofore quoted. 
Let us see another Scriptural testimony to the same purpose. 
St. Paul frequently describes the most eminent operations of 
the Spirit as the "Circumcision of the heart." Now this 
very circumcision of the heart was a substantive part of that 
ancient covenant of which, not Baptism, but outward circum- 
cision was the seal. "The Lord thy God will circumcise 


thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy 
God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou 
mayest live." (Deut. xxx, 6.) In the Epistle to the Romans 
this spiritual circumcision is plainly extended to the Gentiles. 
For although they had not been favored with the written 
law of Moses, yet they had a law written on their hearts, and 
they had received spiritual power to recognize and obey that 
law, as is fully implied by the apostle when he said, "There- 
fore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, 
shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?" — 
for "circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not 
in the letter." (Rom. ii, 26, 29.) This is evidently the 
foundation of the previous declaration in the same chapter, 
that "the judgment of God is according to truth, who will 
render unto every man according to his deeds; unto them 
that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey un- 
righteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and an- 
guish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew 
first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to 
every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to 
the Gentile." 

In the preceding chapter the Apostle affirms in three dis- 
tinct places that the Gentiles had been "given up," or "given 
over," to a reprobate mind, because of their deliberate wicked- 
ness and impenitence. How could the Almighty "give up" 
those whom He had never tried to lead in the way of right- 
eousness? How could He "give over to a reprobate mind" 
those who had never resisted His spirit? The apparent sense 
of the terms, and the analogy of faith, here equally impel us 
to the same conclusion. 

When we add to all this weight of Scripture testimony 
the undoubted fact so dwelt upon and reiterated in the New 
Testament, that Cornelius had found favor with God, and 


had manifested the most precious fruits of the Spirit before 
he ever heard the Gospel; and that even the miraculous 
gifts of the same Spirit were conferred upon him and his 
friends before they were baptized, it seems to me that the 
position now maintained is incontrovertibly established from 
the Word of God. And when again we find the great body 
of heathen moralists using and anticipating the very lan- 
guage in which St Paul describes the conflict within him- 
self, between the good and evil principle, between the 
spiritual and the carnal nature, it is passing strange that 
any Christian man should ever have questioned this prop- 
osition. The authors of the Westminster Confession were 
far too learned a body of theologians to attribute to the 
natural man the good which they acknowledged to be in 
all men. They referred that good undoubtingly to the 
Spirit of God; but, under the influence of their peculiar 
views, they called it "some common operations of the 

That Grace is given before Baptism generally in the case 
of adults, is placed beyond a question by the united voice of 
Scripture and the Church, requiring the most eminent fruits 
of the Spirit as antecedents to Baptism. 

The proposition thus fully proved that every man has re- 
ceived the Holy Spirit to make him capable of holiness, and 
therefore responsible for unholiness, is a complete vindication 
of the illustration used by our blessed Lord, and by the Church 
continuously since, to express the operation and effect of Bap- 
tism, viz : that it is a New Birth, the introduction by water 
and the Spirit of a living subject from the womb of nature 
into the Church or kingdom of God. This is precisely what 
Hooker meant when he said : " Each Sacrament having both 
that which is general or common, and that also which is peculiar 
to itself, we may hereby gather that the participation of Christ 


which properly belongeth to any one Sacrament, is not to be 
obtained otherwise than by the Sacrament whereunto it is 
proper." The 27th Article tells us what is that grace or "par- 
ticipation of Christ " which is proper to Baptism. " Baptism is 
a sign of Regeneration or New Birth, whereby as by an instru- 
ment they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the 
Church." Here "Regeneration," "New Birth," and "graft- 
ing into the Church," are used as convertible terms, and 
Baptism is declared to be both the sign of the thing thus 
represented, and the instrument by which it is effected. The 
remainder of the Article makes Baptism to be both a sign 
and a seal — that is, the assurance — of some other blessiogs. 
In Article 9 the Latin version uses the word renatis — re- 
born. The English version translates renatis by "bap- 

This ought to have prevented any question about the iden- 
tity of the meaning of these words in the contemplation of 
the English and American Church. It has been often shown 
that they were used as synonymous by all Christian writers 
for fifteen hundred years. 

It will not do to degrade this Divinely conceived and Di- 
vinely appointed institution, by calling it "a mere ecclesias- 
tical rite, which man alone is quite competent to achieve." 
The Church is not a society of human appointment^ but the 
mystical body of Christ, established by Grace. Union with 
this body can only be obtained by the operation of the Holy 
Ghost, whose power is in various ways exerted in order to 
constitute the Sacrament. And when this union is effected, 
the same Holy Spirit of life and light flows through many 
channels into the soul of the member of Christ. " Man alone" 
therefore, can do nothing in regard to this Divine society. It 
is all of Grace. And on this account it is that the question 
of the Divine as opposed to the human institution of the 


Church, its Sacraments, and its Ministry, is of such tran- 
scendent importance. 

It is much harder to keep clearly in mind the important 
truth we have been considering than either of the vicious 
extremes between which it stands. And this is the condition 
of all truth. We are accustomed to speak of the simplicity 
of truth. But simplicity is no attribute of truth. Truth 
is always complex. It is composed by the meeting and ad- 
justment of various conflicting forces in nature, or proposi- 
tions in logic. The harmony of the universe is produced by 
the wise adjustment of many conflicting forces; the har- 
mony of truth, in every department of human learning, is 
produced by a like adjustment of many conflicting proposi- 

Error, on the contrary, is simple. It is, for the most part, 
a single, unqualified proposition. It is so much easier to ap- 
prehend such a proposition, and accept it with all its con- 
sequences, than to apprehend along with it many conflicting 
propositions, and bring them all together in a just and even 
balance, that men almost invariably take the former course. 
Hence the universal tendency to extremes. Of the different 
propositions which meet, and by their mutual compensation 
compose the truth, some minds seize upon one proposition 
and run, it out to one extreme; other minds are more at- 
tracted by a different proposition, and with like recklessness 
carry that out to the opposite extreme. It requires rare 
qualities of judgment and temper to receive conflicting prop- 
ositions with equal favor, and to discern and firmly hold the 
truth which comes from their mutual adjustment. 

This is the reason that simple despotic governments have 
been the common rule, and free, mixed governments the rare 
exception in all human history. A simple government, which 
is essentially a despoti&m, whether the ruler be one man or a 


few, or the multitude, is so mucli easier to understand, and to 
work, than the complicated system where freedom is secured 
by the just counteraction of many conflicting powers and in- 
terests, that the world has generally submitted to one or the 
other of these simple forms of despotism. The masses of 
mankind will not consent to exercise the intelligence and put 
forth the ceaseless energy required for the maintenance of 
those complicated governments where alone freedom can be 

Hence, too, in the Church, the facility with which men 
accept wild licentiousness on the one hand, or Papal despot- 
ism on the other. Each is but a single idea, easily appre- 
hended and easily submitted to. Whereas, the complex 
truth which constitutes the revelation of Jesus Christ is made 
up of many apparently discordant propositions, to be received 
with equal respect, and their mutual compensation carefully 
maintained. The reconciliation of Authority and Freedom, 
the right adjustment of the relations between the Scriptures, 
the Church, and the private Christian, demand the highest 
exercise of the best faculties that God has bestowed on man. 
But men are unwilling to respond to that demand. And so 
they indolently sink down into Popery, or Infidelity, or mere 
popular Protestantism, as circumstances may determine. 

The conclusion at which we have now, by pa- 
go. Practical ' •' *■ 

Value of these tient examination, arrived, is no mere abstract 
Truths. theory of religion for the exercise of the in- 

tellect, and for the gratification of idle curiosity. It is a prac- 
tical truth of the most momentous consequence: a truth 
which is verified in part by the consciousness of every human 
being; and which is witnessed in all its saving and consoling 
efficacy, by all who have unreservedly submitted themselves 
to the power of God for their salvation. 

I appeal, now, not to any external authority whatever, but 


to the heart and consciousness of every man, and ask you, 
if you have not felt at all times the struggle within your- 
selves of the antagonist forces which we have been consider- 
ing? Have you not experienced the power of corrupt nature 
inciting you to evil, and the gentle influence of a better mon- 
itor persuading you to resist the evil and to walk in the path 
of uprightness? We have seen that the Word of God, and 
right reason, combine to assure us that this better monitor 
dwelling within you, is the Holy Spirit of Life and Light — 
"the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the 
world." You have therefore within you at once the sentence 
of condemnation against iniquity, and the earnest of your 
calling to a life of purity and to a heritage of bliss. The 
blessed Bible, in its highest meaning, is but the interpreter 
of these mysteries of your being. It is for you to confirm 
and ratify the sentence of condemnation which you feel 
within you, and which you read in God's Word, and thus to 
consign yourselves to an eternal night of hopeless woe; or, 
to make your calling and election sure, to own your adoption 
to be the children of God, and to live according to that high 
and holy relation, and thus to secure that exceeding great 
reward which your Father in heaven has promised to be- 

By the recognition of these solemn truths, and by the 
faithful performance of your duty as created by them, you 
will at once obey the gracious exhortation, and prove the 
truth of the consoling assurance, so happily combined in the 
Word of God, "Work out your own salvation with fear and 
trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to will and 
to do of his good pleasure." That your salvation is the 
"good pleasure" of your Heavenly Father, He has declared 
with a soul-subduing emphasis of expression which infinite 
love and power could not surpass. The mission, the suffer- 


ings, the death of the Son of God, tell the story of redeem- 
ing love — declare the "good pleasure" of an Almighty 
Father whose compassions fail not, and whose tender mercies 
are over all His works. He, by his Spirit, works in you to 
desire and to will the accomplishment of "His good pleas- 
ure." But He does not work in you irresistibly. You must 
yield to His solicitations. You must submit to be led by the 
Spirit. You must work together with God. Then He will 
work in you to do as well as to will. Therefore, work out 
your own salvation with fear and trembling, indeed, lest you 
fail to do your part, but with joy and confidence, that it is 
God that worketh in you. That infinite love and almighty 
power are pledged to accomplish the "good pleasure" of 
your Heavenly Father, for all who work together with Him. 

This work is no holiday pastime It is not the easy way 
of salvation, which encourages a man to continue in sin for 
the greater portion of his life, to add to the evil of corrupt 
Qature the grosser evil of more corrupt habits; and then, 
when "a convenient season" arrives, when he is tired of the 
world, or the world begins to be tired of him, to leap at once 
from uncleanness to holiness, by the magical power of some 
wild, delirious excitement, or by a single effort of enlight- 
ened will. 

To subdue the evil of corrupt nature, to reinstate man in 
that image of God from which he has fallen, is, according to 
the ordinary economy of Grace, the work and labor of the 
whole life. The Church, as represented by all the analogies 
which we have heretofore collected from the Word of God, as 
"the garden," "the field," "the vineyard," "the ark," "the 
city," "the kingdom," embraces the ordinary agencies and 
influences by which the Spirit works in us, and by which we 
work together with God for the accomplishment of this great 
result. Therefore it is that children should be brought to 


Baptism in earliest infancy, because this blessed work of the 
soul's renewal in the likeness of God should be begun when 
corrupt nature can be taken at the greatest disadvantage. 
Then it is that the parent, by a hoJy discipline, must work 
together with God for his child, as in after life the child must 
work together with God for himself. And all who have 
studied the character of young children, know well that 
Grace is then most powerful to produce that purity of mind 
and holiness of affection which induced the blessed Savior to 
say, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

The mischievous theory which denies this work of Grace 
upon the infant mind, which turns the young heir of salva- 
tion forth into the world a stranger and an alien to its 
father's home, looking for grace only to some yet distant op- 
eration of the Spirit, gives time and opportunity for corrupt 
nature to rally. The Devil sees his advantage, and does not 
fail to profit by it. He comes and takes possession, and the 
result is that carelessness and impiety of a more advanced 
period of youth, which in so many cases is to ripen into the 
hardness and reprobacy of a settled, determined wickedness. 

If that which we have seen to be the ordinary way of 
God's working for the salvation of His redeemed, be neg- 
lected or defeated by the unfaithfulness of man, then the 
difficulty and uncertainty of obtaining this salvation by other 
and extraordinary means, adapted by the Almighty to this 
exigency of our condition, are constantly increasing in a ratio 
which it is fearful to contemplate. Therefore, every one who 
desires to be saved, and who nevertheless refuses to begin 
to work out his salvation in the way that God has appoint- 
ed him, is putting every day a stronger seal to his own dam- 

The account which has now been given of the way of sal- 
vation is the best refutation that I can make of that foolish. 


wanton slander, sometimes preferred against the holy Church 
of God, that she teaches men to rely upon the mere formal 
use of the means of Grace, having no regard to the state and 
affections of the soul, or to the transforming power of God's 
Holy Spirit. On the contrary, it has been shown that salva- 
tion and holiness are indissolubly bound together, and may be 
almost interchangeably used. And there is no vice against 
which our ministers so frequently warn their people as against. 
that insidious and inveterate evil of the human heart, the 
tendency to rest in the form, without seeking for and secur- 
ing the power of Godliness; telling them, that those who do 
so lightly and sacrilegiously trifle with Divine and eternal 
things, will but increase their own condemnation. We do 
earnestly teach them that the wickedness which is sought to 
be covered over by a loud and obtrusive profession of religion, 
is of all others the vilest and most loathsome. 

Having thus presented to every man a motive to be instant 
and urgent in the work of his own salvation, I will now con- 
clude by another practical illustration and application of the 
whole subject, in an address to parents from one of the best 
and most eminent of our early divines, the famous Bishop 
Jewell : 

" Let us look upon our children as upon the great blessings 
of God. They are the Lord's vessels ordained to honor; let 
us keep them clean. They are Christ's lambs and sheep of 
His flock; let us lead them forth into wholesome pasture. 
They are the seed-plot of heaven; let us water them that 
God may give the increase; their angels behold the face of 
God; let us not offend them. They are the temples and 
tabernacles of the Holy Ghost; let us not suffer the foul 
spirit to possess them and dwell with them. God saith, 
'Your children are my children.' They are the sons of God. 
They are born anew, and are well shapen in beautiful propor- 


tion: make them not monsters: he is a monster whosoever 
knoweth not God. By you they are bora into the world ; be 
careful also that by your means they may be begotten unto Grod. 
You are careful to train them in nurture and comely behavior 
of the body; seek also to fashion their mind unto godliness. 
You have brought them unto the fountain of Baptism to re- 
ceive the mark of Christ; bring them up in knowledge, and 
watch over them that they be not lost. So shall they be 
confirmed; and will keep the promise they have made, and 
wiil grow unto perfect age in Christ." 




Truth is always composed of antagonizing principles. 
The characteristic of all heresy is, to run out a single great 
principle, unchecked and uncontrolled by its antagonist prin- 
ciple, to the production of results that are monstrous and 
destructive. The Divine arrangement, and the human per- 
version of it, are finely illustrated by the muscular system 
of the human body. If but one set of muscles were kept 
in play, their action would produce only frightful deformity, 
and utter imbecility as to any useful purpose. But when 
the action of these is duly counteracted by the compensating 
force of antagonist muscles, the result of their combination 
is beauty, proportion, and strength. 

Calvinism is an illustration of the vice just referred to. 
It takes a single truth, and runs it out very logically to the 
most disastrous consequences, without recollecting that the 
truth thus unreasonably pressed to such fearful consequences 
is, itself, controlled and modified by counteracting and antag- 
onist truths. 

The view which has now been presented of the Divine 
Life in the soul of man, shows the consistency and connec- 
tion of the one truth of Calvinism with other great and im- 
portant truths, thereby presenting the beauty and proportion 
of the glorious Gospel — the system in which the Church has 
ever instructed her faithful children. 


It. is true, as Calvinism asserts, that the death which sin 
brought into the world is a state of excision from God, the 
Fountain of all good, and may, therefore, very properly be 
called a state of "total depravity." The denial of this truth, 
by the opponents of Calvinism, is one cause of >the continued 
vitality of that system. But Calvinism takes this one truth, 
and runs it out to conclusions as manifestly false as they are 
painfully revolting. LeaviDg out of view the connected 
truths which modify and control this single truth, it repre- 
sents the actual present condition of all mankind as one of 
"total depravity," of utter incapacity to think or to do any 
good thing. But this conclusion is contradicted alike by the 
phenomena of universal humanity and by the spirit and the 
letter of revealed religion. The natural state of man is that, 
indeed, to which he reduced himself — a state expressed by 
the terms "spiritual death," "total depravity," or by any 
other equivalent terms. But man was not left in this, his 
natural condition of hopeless misery and ruin. Calvinism 
forgets that we are now living under the dispensation of 
Grace. To the same common ancestor, whose transgres- 
sion brought upon his race this death and this pollution of 
human nature, was the promise made of Redemption through 
Jesus Christ. It is the grace given, the new life imparted 
through this mediator — the second Adam — to co-exist with 
the old, and carnal, and corrupt nature which we derive from 
the first Adam, and to operate upon that nature, to the utter 
extinction of its vileness and guiltiness, that constitutes the 
present condition of mankind a state of probation, of trial. 

Take away the fact that the Spirit of God imparts to the 
human race that spiritual capacity to know and to do good, 
which, in consistency with the illustration of the New Birth 
employed by our Lord, is, properly called, "the Divine Life,", 
and this world is no longer a place of probation — of trial for 


man. It can be regarded as nothing more than a sort of 
"prison-bounds," in which the reprobate are permitted to 
wander about, and to do as much mischief as they can, until 
God puts an end to this dreadful liberty* 

But the great truth of revealed religion, that which justly 
entitles the truth, as it is in Jesus, to be called the Gospel 
— the glad n:ws — is, that every man, through Christ, is in a 
state of probation, of trial, for heaven, or for hell. The cor- 
rupt nature and the Divine gift co-exist in every man, and 
by the choice which he makes and maintains, to be led by 
the one or the other, is his destiny for eternity determined. 
Calvinism and Universalism alike and equally deny the great 
truth of man's probation in this world for an eternal state; 
and both systems are therefore hopelessly at variance with 
Divine revelation, and with human consciousness. 

By virtue of the dispensation of Grace, under which hu- 
man nature is now placed — the gift of God in Christ operat- 
ing upon corrupt nature — no man is "totally depraved" until 
he makes himself so by long continuance in sin, by deliberate 
rejection of the Grace of God, by driving from his soul the 
Holy Spirit, the source of all the good that is in man. 

The early chapters of the Epistle to the Romans present 
to us a graphic account of Probation and Reprobation, as 
illustrated in personal experience and in the world's history. 
The endless controversy as to the character in which St. Paul 
speaks, "whether of himself or of some other man," and if 
speaking of himself, whether in his regenerate or unregen- 
erate state, can only be disposed of by seeing that all these 
views are comprehended in the more general one, that the 

*See a beautiful account of this world as a place of "probation" and not a 
" prison-house for man," in the work mentioned below. " Besides the traces of 
original beauty and subsequent destruction, there are proofs of Reconstruction o- 
Reorganization. (McCosh on the Divine Government, &c, pp. 78-85.) 


Apostle is describing human nature in its many-sided aspects. 
The reconciliation of all the truth that is to be found in 
these conflicting statements will be apparent when we regard 
the Apostle as representing humanity — each single man and 
the whole race — and the development of this humanity under 
the operation of God's Spirit. That development proceeds. 
he says, in opposite directions, as men — whether "Jews or 
Gentiles" — yield themselves to be "led by the Spirit," or per- 
versely refuse and reject that Divine guidance. It is first 
Probation for all, and abounding Grace, then Reprobation 
only for the obstinate despisers of that Grace of God that 
bringeth salvation. St. Paul includes in the very same con- 
demnation, and for the same reason, the wicked Gentiles with 
the wicked among his own countrymen, of whom St. Stephen 
had said, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and 
ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, 
so do ye." (Acts vii, 51.) 

St. Paul exhibits the unbroken continuity of the one re- 
vealed religion, when he tells the Galatians "that the cove- 
nant" with Abraham, "that was confirmed before of God in 
Christ, the law . . . can not disannul." (iii, 17.) 

Christ, then, was the substance of the covenant with Abra- 
ham, and that was but a confirmation of the previous covenant 
of grace, with an added specialty, the sign of circumcision. 
The Christian covenant is thus expressly declared to be a 
continuation of the Abrahamic — the law havins: been inter- 
posed for a time — baptism being put in the place of circum- 
cision And both the Abrahamic and Christian forms of the 
3ovt;nant are treated of by the Apostle as but renewals of 
the one original covenant of Grace. 

To all who are not brought under the provisions of the 
Covenant in its perfect Christian form, by the preaching of 
the Gospel, that first gracious covenant in Christ yet remains 


unrepealed, the hope of all the ends of the earth, the one 
only ground and foundation of human probation — of this 
world's economy as a place and means of trial for man. The 
gift of the Divine Spirit to each one of the subjects of this 
covenant, to form in him a conscience, and to apply with 
effectual power the external truth which may be brought to 
his knowledge, is one of its essential and indispensable con- 

I have already called attention to the fact that our blessed 
Lord describes the office of the Spirit, when He should come 
in largest measure and in fullest manifestation, to be identical 
with that which we ascribe to the natural conscience. "And 
when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of 
righteousness, and of judgment." (St. John xvi, 8.) It is 
impossible to define the office of conscience more perfectly or 
more precisely. The Divine dweller in the souls of men, 
the eternal Spirit, had been executing this office from the be- 
ginning, just as Christ was "slain from the foundation of the 
world" for the salvation of the world, in the economy of 
grace. Afterwards, in the full light of the truth, for the 
manifestation of which there had been so many thousand 
years of preparation — that "God was in Christ reconciling 
the world unto Himself" — this same Spirit is poured forth in 
more copious effusion, thenceforth using specially the name 
and work, and righteousness of Christ as the instrument of 
His convincing, sanctifying, and condemning power. 

That God did by His Spirit reprove the world of sin, of 

righteousness, and of judgment, in every age and in every 

nation, so that all have been without excuse, the history of 

the whole world and the consciousness of every human being 

have concurrently witnessed. The depth of wickedness to 

which all heathen nations have descended no more proves 

that they are not really the possessors of this one inestimable 


talent, than the abounding wickedness of Christian nations 
proves that the three and the five talents of Gospel light and 
knowledge have never been imparted to them. The fiction 
that is opposed to this truth, that God has ever and utterly 
abandoned nine-tenths of the human race to the unchecked 
and absolute dominion of the devil and their own depraved 
natures, is dishonoring to God, repugnant to the very instincts 
of humanity, and contradicted by the history and condition 
of all peoples.' This horrid fiction, if allowed at all, must 
include the children of these multitudes who die without 
actual sin. For, if these children have only the depraved 
nature which they take from their parents, they must take 
the inevitable doom of that nature. If they have received 
in no measure the Spirit of Christ, they are none of His, and 
therefore they can by no possibility be saved. 

In the Epistle to the Ephesians St. Paul beautifully illus- 
trates the glorious state and privileges of believers, as mem- 
bers of the Church of God — the body of Christ. Yet, in this 
very connection, he sets forth that same process of gradual 
reprobation, more largely described in the Epistle to the Ro- 
mans, by which the unbelieving Gentiles had resisted the 
Divine power that was in them for salvation. And he ex- 
pressly calls that power the "Life of God," from which they 
had become "alienated" by this voluntary, and therefore 
criminal, submission to the evil of their nature. "This I 
say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth 
walk, not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 
having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the 
life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because 
of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling, have 
given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all un- 
cleanness with greediness." (Ephes. iv, 17-19.) 

Every expression here represents the unhappy results, in 


those who love darkness rather than light, of the contest in 
each soul of man between the old corrupt nature and the 
Divine gift, "the life of God," which was in him. When 
their perverse choice of evil had ultimately extinguished all 
sense of a higher and better nature, then — "being past feel- 
ing" — they gave "themselves over unto lasciviousness, to 
work all uncleanness with greediness." 

This process of reprobation may be going on without the 
exhibition of that recklessness of living described here by 
the Apostle. Men who refuse to recognize the Christ with- 
in them, and to nurture by a true faith the life of God in 
their souls, may nevertheless yield an outward obedience to 
most of the requirements of the Divine law. The law in 
such cases is simply an external rule, which the conscience 
confesses to be good, and to which custom, and civil law, 
and personal habit, produce a certain degree of conformity. 
A distinguished living Prelate has beautifully illustrated this 
sort of obedience by the similitude of a painter slavishly 
copying a picture set before him. Whereas, the true Artist 
produces from within, from the depths of his own soul, and 
realizes in the creations of the canvas, forms of beauty and 
loveliness. So the Christian, who has appropriated Christ by 
faith, who recognizes the life of God in his soul, and dili- 
gently nurtures that life by the heavenly food which God 
has provided, finds the law of God, not an external binding 
rule, but the very essence and principle of that life which is 
in him, and which he cherishes. The service of God is not 
then mere obedience, but the highest realization of liberty — 
the whole conduct and conversation in correspondence with 
the affections, and God's will the ruling, sovereign power in 
the soul. 

This is the state which St. Paul describes in the words, 
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, 


but Christ, liveth in me ; and the life which I now live in the 
flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, 
and gave Himself for me." (Gal. ii, 20.) 

The Christian crucifies the old, evil nature, in will and in- 
tention, and relying on God's help, undertakes to do it effect- 
ually in deed, that so the risen Christ, formed in him by the 
Spirit, may be his true and better life, taking entire posses- 
sion of his whole nature, and framing and fashioning it ac- 
cording to the perfect likeness of the new man, created in 
righteousness and true holiness. This life of Christ in the 
soul can only be sustained by faith, because faith is required 
to bring to the soul those continued supplies of grnce minis- 
tered through the appointed channels of grace, by which 
that life is nurtured and developed. The Baptismal service 
puts the statement of St. Paul in other language — "Remem- 
bering always that Baptism representeth unto us our profes- 
sion, which is to follow the example of our Savior Christ, and 
to be made like unto Him; that as He died, and rose again 
for us, so should we, who are baptized, die from sin, and rise 
again unto righteousness ; continually mortifying all our evil 
and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all virtue and 
godliness of living." 

Just here is one of the points of departure of the Calvin- 
istic theology from the teaching of the Bible and the Church. 
That theology tells us that Christ has never been formed in 
the soul, has no connection with our humanity, until our own 
faith works the stupendous miracle of bringing Him into 
union with our nature, and that the union so formed is in- 

Besides the many objections to this feature of the system 
which have already been mentioned, this particular form of 
expressing it is liable to the further difficulty that it destroys 
the very nature of faith, and makes faith to be the creator of 


the fact which it is called upon and professes to believe. 
The legitimate office of faith is, to believe and trust in the 
work which God has done for us and within us for our sal- 
vation ; that so we may work together with God in the con- 
summation of that salvation, by pleading urgently for more 
grace. But this system requires faith first to do the thing 
which it must believe that God has done, and thus to be- 
come the virtual author of our salvation. 

True Christian faith, on the contrary, believes, appropri- 
ates, and concurs in the accomplished work of God, the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for our salvation. It 
recognizes the Christ formed in us by the Spirit, as the 
power of an ever-enlarging goodness, capable, by the dili- 
gent use of the "means of grace," of killing all vices in us, 
and of bringing us up from babes in Christ to the full stat- 
ure of perfect manhood in Christ Jesus. This faith makes 
us earnest and watchful in the mighty work of our salvation. 
It keeps us near to Christ, in the Church, and in Providence, 
and helps us to aspire after the Christ in heaven, that "we 
may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him 
continually dwell." 

It is a blessed and transcendent mystery, this life of God, 
blending with the life of the human soul. And it is this 
life of God, in the very center of our being, that sin destroys. 
It is the God-man, formed in us by the eternal Spirit, whom 
we crucify afresh, by rejection of Him, by willful continuance 
in opposition to Him. Such is the force of the Apostle's 
expression above cited from the Epistle to the Ephesians, in 
perfect consonance with the entire spirit of God's Word. 
And what is the consequence of this war against the life of 
God in the soul? Gradually the perpetrator of this awful 
crime loses all feeling of good, all sense of shame and con- 
sciousness of wrong, and is "given over unto lasciviousness," 


and every other evil and base affection," "to work all un« 
cleanness," and every vice of a malignant nature, "with 
greediness." When we have consummated this double mur- 
der of our own souls, and of the life of God within us, where 
is to be our help and hope in eternity? And who will be 
our helper? Has any revelation from Heaven proclaimed 
another salvation? Has it told of another Savior, another in- 
carnation, a more effective interposition between human cor- 
ruption and human misery than the very life of God Himself, 
communicated to us, dwelling in us, and forming in us the 
sense and the love of goodness, purity, and perfectness? 

In all these discussions I have assumed the universal Chris- 
tian postulate, that the promise of the Holy Ghost by our 
Savior Christ, and the glorious Pentecostal gift in accordance 
with the promise, must be understood to mean the more 
copious effusion of the Spirit, and the more perfect manifes- 
tation of His office, and of the work of Christ for our salva- 
tion; and not the gift of the Spirit for the first time, in any 
measure. This last interpretation would make the Scriptures 
self-contradictory, and every rational canon of interpretation, 
therefore, requires the former sense. For innumerable ex- 
pressions, and the whole tenor of the Old Testament, show 
that the Spirit was given, and was recognized as given, to all 
the people of God in all ages. The great Nonconformist, 
Owen, who has written more elaborately and profoundly on 
the work of the Spirit than any other person, thus expresses 
the general sense of the Christian Church on this point: 

"The plentiful effusion of the Spirit is that which was 
principally prophesied of and foretold as the great privilege 
of the Gospel State." "The work of Grace on the hearts 
of men being more fully revealed under the New Testament 
than before, and of the same kind and nature in every state 
of the Church since the fall." "He is promised and given 


as the sole cause and author of all the good that in this world 
we are or can be made partakers of." "Although the work 
of regeneration by the Holy Spirit was wrought under the 
Old Testament, even from the foundation of the world, and 
the doctrine of it recorded in the Scriptures, yet the revela- 
tion of it was obscure in comparison of that light and evidence 
which it is brought forth into by the Gospel." (Vol. 1, pp. 
126, 157, 159, 210.) 

There is much more to the same effect. In one remark- 
able passage Owen clearly shows that nothing but his invet- 
erate Calvinism, especially the dogmas of the irresistibility 
and indefectibility of Grace, prevented his appreciation of 
the glorious fullness and freeness of the work of the Spirit. 
Arguing against the Pelagians, he says: "Now as we grant 
that this spiritual renovation of nature will infallibly produce 
a moral reformation of life, so if they will grant that this 
moral reformation of life doth proceed from a spiritual ren- 
ovation of our nature, this difference will be at an end, and 
this is that which the ancients intended by first receiving the 
Holy Ghost and then all graces with Him." (P. 219.) 

Owen presents here the gist of Pelagianism, and shows 
how that error is avoided by the doctrine that all "moral ref- 
ormation doth proceed from a spiritual renovation of our 
nature," and that this position is truly the doctrine for which 
he so earnestly contends as against that heresy. It is need- 
less to add that this position of Owen is the doctrine of this 

The mission of the Holy Ghost, previous to the incarna- 
tion, is more briefly and authoritatively stated in that form of 
the ancient Christian Creed set forth in the Apostolical Con- 
stitutions. "I am baptized also into the Holy Ghost, that 
is, the Comforter, who wrought in all the Saints from the 
beginning of the world." (Book 7, chap. 41.) 


Those who deny the universality of the Grace of God and 
of the Spiritual life which that Grace imparts, are accustomed 
to refer the manifest good that is in all men to what they style 
"mere human virtues " — carefully abstracting from the said hu- 
man virtues all possible influence of the Grace or Spirit of God. 
Have these persons ever asked themselves what virtue is? Do 
they not know that all moralists and legislators have uniformly 
maintained that the knowledge of God and the capacity of 
obeying His law, is the foundation of all human obligation 
and of all human virtue? Human virtue is not a brute in- 
stinct. It is the conscious action of an intelligent being 
doing right, under a sense of obligation to God. It is no 
less than "the answer of a good conscience toward God." To 
aflirm that a man can accomplish this without the Grace of 
God prompting and assisting him, is the precise expression 
of the Pelagian heresy. 

The great English moralist, Bishop Butler, in the first three 
of his sermons, undertakes to tell us what may be known of 
the present actual condition of human nature, aside from any 
information derived from the Bible. He shows that there is 
in that nature a power to achieve all the goodness, both as to 
piety and morality, which Christianity requires or provides 
for, and that tlie actual present condition of that nature is fla- 
grantly violated, when this goodness is not attained. This, 
he also shows, was the conclusion of the best heathen moral- 
ists, from the same premises. So, also, Sir Wm. Hamilton 
writes : 

"For in man there are tendencies — there is a law — which 
continually urge him to prove that he is more powerful than 
the nature by which he is surrounded and penetrated. He 
is conscious to himself of faculties not comprized in the chain 
of physical necessity, his intelligence reveals prescriptive 
principles of action, absolute and universal, in the law of 


duty, and a liberty capable of carrying that law into effect, 
in opposition to the solicitations, the impulsions of his material 
nature. From the co -existence of these opposing forces in 
man there results a ceaseless struggle between physical neces- 
sity and moral liberty; in the language of Revelation, be- 
tween the Flesh and the Spirit; and this struggle constitutes 
at once the distinctive character of humanity, and the essen- 
tial condition of human development and virtue." (Meta- 
physics, sec. 2, p. 21.) 

But this conclusion, unless taken in connection with the 
truths of the Gospel, as Bishop Butler intended it to be, is 
manifestly contrary to those truths. It is not for us to prove 
this here. The Church has decided it from the beginning, 
and that decision is sufficiently set forth in the 9th and 10th 
Articles. The 9th says: 

"Original sin is the fault and corruption of the nature of 
every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring 
of Adam ; whereby man is very far gone from original right- 
eousness, and is, of his own nature, inclined to evil, so that 
the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit." 

And the 10th Article tells us that, 

"The condition of man" is such that "we have no power 
to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without 
the Grace of God by Christ preventing us." 

The Gospel truths, thus set forth, modify and explain the 
conclusion of Bishop Butler. They show the quality of man's 
present state, as the fallen but redeemed child of God. They 
point out the vitiation of his nature, by which that nature is 
only inclined to evil; and the gift of God's preventing Grace, 
by which man is enabled to resist, the evil, to struggle against 
the flesh, to obey and love the Law of God. This is the 
present state of human nature, according to the greatest mor- 
alist of modern times, and according to the uniform decision 


of the universal Church. This is the representation of hu- 
man nature given by St. Paul in the first and second chapters 
of the Epistle to the Romans. He shows that the Gentiles 
were condemned because they held "the truth in unright- 
eousness." He traces the progress of their willful departure 
from God, just as we can every day see the same fatal de- 
scent, and the gradually attained supremacy of evil, in each 
soul of man who resists the Holy Ghost. He describes the 
process by which the whole Gentile world had gradually 
fallen into its actual condition, by sinning against light and 
truth, and the strivings of God's Spirit. The deterioration 
went on, says the Apostle, until "God gave them up to 
uncleanness," and "gave them up unto vile affections," 
and "gave them over to a reprobate mind." Just so God 
deals now with men. It is the same spirit, but divers minis- 

The great Apostle to the Gentiles connects himself, in soul- 
stirring descriptions, with universal humanity. He stands 
before the world as a man; conscious of all that man had felt; 
and adopting for himself, and as the expression of his own 
experience, the very language of the great and the good men 
of all times, he sets forth the struggle between the good and 
the evil within us, which all could recognize, because all had 
felt it ; and then he points to the Gospel of the Son of God 
as the necessary complement of humanity, as the effectual 
means of bringing this struggle to a glorious end, by giving 
a complete and final victory to the good over the evil. In 
the name of diseased manhood, as the representative of his 
kind, the Apostle exclaims, "0 wretched man that I am! 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Then, 
at this climax of the description of spoiled and perverted 
humanity comes from the lips of the same man, commending 
it to the hearts of all men, the sweet assurance of the glori- 


ous Gospel, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
So, then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but 
with the flesh the law of sin." 

The Church, the visible kingdom of God, is an integral 
part of this blessed Gospel of Salvation. Man is born once 
into this world of sin and death with an evil nature, corre- 
sponding to his evil abode. Redeemed by the incarnation 
and death of the Second Man, he is quickened by the Holy 
Ghost given unto him ; made alive unto God and to goodness ; 
endowed with a capacity for holiness, with power to resist the 
evil of his nature and of the world, and to attain to a meet- 
ness for eternal joys. But this mere capacity of holiness, 
this spiritual power, this new life, which he receives as a 
man from the man Jesus Christ, must, like all life, be nur- 
tured, and developed, and trained, to its proper end and pur- 
pose, else it will become frustrate and perish. Therefore, 
says the blessed Savior, and therefore, says the Church, echo- 
ing her Master's words, "Ye must be born again, of water 
and of the Spirit." The child of God must be transferred, 
by the Sacrament of Baptism — by a second birth — from 
the world, where the evil nature alone is nurtured, into 
Christ's kingdom, where the new and spiritual nature may 
be nurtured and trained, and taught to overcome the evil, 
and to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. 

This teaching of the Church is in consonance with the 
universal consciousness of men, and makes the Gospel to be, 
indeed, glad news of great joy to all people, because it shows 
how the struggle between good and evil, which is common to 
all men, may be brought in every man to a triumphant and 
glorious issue, "through Jesus Christ our Lord." 

It is the conflict between these two powers, the earthly, 
sensual, and corrupt nature on one side, and the Divine Gift, 
the Third Person of the very Godhead, on the other, and the 


purposed design of this conflict — the conquest and extinction 
of the evil in man, and the complete triumph of the Divine, 
so fitting the redeemed child of God for an eternity of bliss — 
that explain and account for all the most striking anomalies 
of this strange, perplexing life of ours. 

The loveliness and purity of a little child are emphatically 
and repeatedly employed by our Savior as the highest earthly 
image of a heavenly nature. But all Christian teaching, 
and all human observation, concur in the testimony that 
every child is born with a corrupt nature, the very nature 
that shows itself, in mature age, in the grossest forms of 
wickedness. Whence, then, its beauty of character, its love- 
liness and purity? These can only come from the fresh and 
full indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the author and giver of 
life, bestowed upon this child of Adam, to be unto it the 
power of a glorious immortality. There is, then, the same 
contest already commenced in the heart and nature of an in- 
fant of days which is to be the characteristic of its life- 
struggle, and the determining force of its eternal existence. 
To this conclusion we are shut up by the facts of the case, 
natural and revealed. 

And this conclusion furnishes us with a full and joyous 
solution of one of the hardest problems of life, the suffer- 
ings of little children. Even the corrupt nature of these 
little ones, so blessed and so visited of God, must be purified 
and perfected by suffering; not for actual transgression, of 
which they are incapable, but that the moral nature may 
know, by trial and experience, the hatefulness of sin, and 
the pains that are inseparably connected with it. By this 
sharp but short experience of the dread penalty of sin, their 
eternity of happiness is augmented; they are washed in the 
same blood of the Lamb that taketh away the sin, the black, 
damning sin of the whole world that lieth in wickedness, 


and are thus enabled to join in the song of the redeemed, 
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain." 

The recognition of the great gift of God — the Divine Life 
in the soul of man — rescues that important truth, the cor- 
ruption of human nature, from the unhappy connections with 
which it has been too often confused, and by which it has 
been disci edited. But unless we connect with that great 
Scriptural truth the universal gift, through Christ, of the 
spirit of life and light, to operate upon depraved humanity, 
we take away the only possible ground on which to base the 
appeals which the ministers of the G ospel are commanded con- 
stantly to make to the hearts and consciences of men, uncon- 
verted and unbaptized, to turn unto the Lord, to believe, to 
repent, to pray. We take away, at the same time, the only 
ground upon which the Savior of men can judge the world 
in righteousness, viz., that the subjects of His Grace have 
improved, or buried, the talent entrusted to tliem. 

This universal gift is repeatedly mentioned by St. Paul in 
his Epistles to the Corinthians. The persons there addressed 
were quite as miscellaneous in their moral characters as any 
modern congregation that can be found. Many of them, 
therefore, yet needed conversion. And the sorrowing Apostle 
expresses his fears that after all his written exhortations he 
will yet be humbled when he comes to them by finding 
"many which have sinned already, and have not repented of 
the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness which 
they have committed." (2d Cor. xii, 21.) To a community 
comprising many such persons he appeals as follows: "Know 
ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of 
Clod dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, 
nim shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which 
temple ve are." "Know ye not that your bodies are the 
members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of 


Christ, and make them the members of an harlot?" "What! 
Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost 
which is in you?" "Know ye not your own selves, how 
that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (1st 
Cor. iii, 15, 16; vi, 15, 19; 2d Cor. xiii, 5.) These declara- 
tions effectually dispose of that branch of the theory which 
makes Conversion the starting point of spiritual life — the 
first introduction of Christ into the soul. 

The "hypothetical theory" will not do here. St. Paul 
negatives that by describing the wicked lives of those whom 
he exhorts to repentance, and he urges them to repent be- 
cause they are the temples of God, because they are members 
of Christ, and because the Holy Ghost dwells in them. The 
assertion that Christ is in them, and that the Holy Ghost is 
in them, are evidently used convertibly for the statement of 
the same fact. And this fact the Apostle says is true of all 
who are not "reprobates." But by virtue of the dispensation 
of grace, under which human nature is now placed, no man 
is reprobate until he makes himself so, by deliberate rejec- 
tion of the grace of God, by driving from his soul the Holy 
Spirit, the source of all the good that is in man. The actual 
present state of human nature, through the mediation of 
Christ;, and by the gift of His Spirit, is that of Probation, 
not of Reprobation. 




The Papal religion is a new one, built upon the foundation 
of Christianity, and gradually, elaborately, and ingeniously 
constructed. The use made of Christianity by the defenders 
of this new religion is to employ the former as a support to 
the latter, to give it power, credit, and the apparent force of 
truth. One of the most common arts of Romish controver- 
sialists is to prove, with great force and vigor, some truth of 
Christianity, and then, under cover of that proof, put forward 
the modern corruption by which this very truth has been dis- 
figured and overlaid. The Romish doctrine of Baptism is 
one of those first and easy departures from the truth which 
has been logically expanded into a formidable system of error. 
The following extracts from the decrees of the Council of 
Trent will exhibit this doctrine : 

" Whoever shall affirm that the Sacraments of the new law 
do not contain the grace which they signify, let him be ac- 
cursed." "Sacraments of the Church by which all true 
righteousness is at first imparted, then increased, and afterward 
restored if lost." "Whoever shall deny that the merit of 
Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and infants, by the 
Sacrament of Baptism — that the guilt of original sin is re- 
mitted by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, bestowed in 
Baptism, or shall affirm that wherein sin truly and properly 


consists is not wholly rooted ap, but is only cut down or not 
imputed, let him be accursed." " The causes of justification 
are these — the instrumental cause, the Sacrament of Baptism, 
which is the Sacrament of Faith, without which no one can 
ever obtain justification." "Justification is not remission of 
pin merely, but also sanctification, and the renewal of the inner 
man." "Therefore, when a man is justified and united to 
Jesus Christ, he receives together with remission of sins the 
following gifts bestowed upon him at the same time, namely 
faith, hope, and charity." "Then, receiving in their regen- 
eration true and Christian righteousness, as the best robe 
white and spotless, bestowed on them through Christ Jesus 
instead of that which Adam lost by his disobedience, botl. 
for himself and us, they are commanded to preserve the sa?iu 
that they may present it before the tribunal of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and possess eternal life." 

These passages contain the germ of that mystery of ini- 
quity which has penetrated the whole Romish system, fructi- 
fying into the Sacrament of Penance, the doctrine of Purga- 
tory and Indulgences, of Masses, and other satisfactions for 
the expiation of post-baptismal sin, and for the frequent 
restoration of the "perfect righteousness," and of the "spot- 
less innocence" which were once bestowed in Baptism; but 
which, alas! are never retained by those who arrive at the 
age of accountability. Let us trace for a moment the pro- 
gress of this unhappy growth. 

If Baptism remits the party to the original state of Adam, 
then by a single sin he forfeits that estate, as Adam did; and 
his Baptism is no longer of any value or effect. He stands 
iust where Adam did after his fall, and before his reconcilia- 
tion to God. This consequence is seen and provided for. 
Upon it is founded the next step in this doctrinal system. 
The learned Moehler, the most profound of the recent theo- 


logians of that communion, speaking of post-baptismal sin, 
says, " Thereby is communion with God broken off, and the 
baptismal grace forfeited." (Moehler's Symbolism, p. 206.) 
If the Church had not happily declared the repetition of 
Baptism to be sacrilege, before this doctrine was invented, 
the Mormon device of baptism once a week or once a month, 
might have been resorted to in order to restore the forfeited 
life in Christ Jesus. But as this Sacrament could not be re- 
peated, the ingenious expedient was adopted of getting up a 
new Sacrament, to *be in the place of Baptism, and to per- 
form precisely the office of Baptism. Moehler therefore 
continues: "Hence if the sinner wish to be converted from 
his evil ways, he needs a new reconciliation with God, and 
therefore another Sacrament; and such a Sacrament is Pen- 
ance." The Divine Sacrament is thus deprived of all real 
value, even while its supposed effect is so falsely magnified. 
It imparts but once an imagined grace, which is sure to be 
lost, while the human Sacrament is represented as imparting 
the same grace as often as it is needed. Thus the ordinary 
life of men is made to be a continued succession of deaths 
and births; of excision from the body of Christ, alternated 
with perfect holiness, righteousness, and purity. It is obvi- 
ous that if a little discretion be observed in the administra- 
tion of the supposed Sacrament of Penance, so as to repeat 
it in the article of death, and thus secure the new life and 
the perfect holiness which it confers, no man need fear the 
consequences of the sins and irregularities of his past life. 
And this acknowledged estimation of the value and effect of 
this rite does, in fact, account for the anomalies in the char- 
acter of a Boman Catholic population. 

Here is another branch of this evil tree. The pseudo 
Sacrament of Penance makes men righteous. And "the 
righteous can satisfy the Divine law by their own works, and 


may truly merit the attainment of eternal life," says the 
council of Trent. And if these righteous persons choose to 
do works of supererogation, they may transfer this super- 
fluity of merit to less industrious sinners. And so the 
"Catholic Manual" announces, "It is not less certain that 
the satisfactions of many saints were more than sufficient for 
their own sins, especially those of the Blessed "Virgin Mother 
of God, who, although she never incurred the guilt of any 
sin, underwent the most exquisite afflictions and sufferings. 
Now the all good and just God could not allow those treas- 
ures of satisfactions to remain useless, which could be applied 
with great advantage to the other members of His Church. 
He therefore has given His Church the power of distributing 
to the faithful these spiritual gifts, according to their respect- 
ive wants and merits; and this distribution is effected by 
Indulgences, which therefore can be granted by him only 
who has received from Christ the government, and the care 
of the Church, together with the power of binding and 
loosing the faithful." 

The same authority goes on to say that the Pope has been 
very liberal in granting indulgencies of late, "that as sin 
abounds grace might much more abound." In point of fact, 
we know that every order and every society in that extended 
communion has one or more of these Indulgencies, as a part 
of its capital stock, which its members can apply to their 
own use, or to the benefit of others, for the remission of the 
pains of purgatory. Thus the holiest and the purest Chris- 
tian acts, prayer and charity, are converted by this wretched 
corruption of religion into a base transaction of bargain and 
sale; so many prayers and so many good deeds being given 
for so much release of purgatorial torment. 

But the notion upon which indulgences are founded — the 
conversion of repentance, good works, and providential suf- 


ferings, into satisfactions for sin, is itself a subversion of the 
Gospel; of the work of God in redemption, and of the work 
of man as the redeemed child of God. It degrades the work 
of God in redemption: for it essays to add to the infinite 
satisfaction, which Christ has made for sin, the little and 
miserably inadequate works and sufferings of men. And 
God is made to stand toward his redeemed people not as a 
reconciled Father in Christ Jesus, but as a rigid creditor and 
judge, weighing our merits, «md exacting the last farthing of 
His due. To ascribe to any act or work of ours any power 
to satisfy the Divine mind, as a commutation of the penalty 
of the broken law, is that very heathen abomination which 
degraded the majesty of the Eternal Father, and the sanctity 
of His perfect law. To talk of man's satisfying a broken 
law, by any thing short of its penalty, is an abuse of words 
and a mockery of God. When the Almighty Father looked 
upon our misery, and conceived the plan of our relief, He 
did not come to the lost creature whom He was about to 
save for the vindication of His justice, and holiness, and 
truth. When the mercy of God moved in our behalf, it 
moved with the power and infiniteness of its Divine source. 
When Mercy triumphed, it triumphed wholly. Mercy found 
the ransom for guilty sinners. "This is a true saying, and 
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the 
world to save sinners." (1 Tim. i, 15.) It was only in the 
infinite depths of His own nature that the Almighty could 
find the price of man's redemption, and the fitting vindica- 
tion of His own holy law. And there he found it perfect, suf- 
ficient, complete, wanting nothing, and incapable of addition. 
This same corruption of religion perverts the whole idea 
of the Christian life. It disposes of the sacrifice of Christ 
as merely the cause of a certain determination in the Divine 
mind, by which the Eternal Father has consented an 


account current with His creatures, and to credit them with 
their penitence, their afflictions, their prayers, their works of 
mercy, as so much consideration paid, in part as a satisfaction 
for sins, and in part as the purchase of heaven. And the 
daily relation between God and man consists in the settling 
and adjustment of this account. This makes up the prac- 
tical, every-day working of the system. And the great 
business of the minister of Christ under it, is to act as 
the factor between Almighty God and His guilty crea- 
tures; to settle the terms of this commerce in each par- 
ticular instance; to receive the commutation, and to pass the 

How different from this complicated device of priestly im- 
position is the Catholic doctrine, the teaching of the Bible 
and the Church. The Gospel of the Son of God proclaims 
that Christians are not enemies and rebels, who must pay the 
forfeiture of their crimes, but the ransomed of the Lord, the 
redeemed of the Holy One of Israel. The baptized mem- 
bers of the household of faith are no longer strangers and 
aliens, but children, adopted sons and daughters of the Lord 
Almighty. And they are not called upon to settle now the 
terms of their acceptance, to drive a huckstering bargain for 
the pardon of sin with their God and Savior. For recon- 
ciliation for iniquity has already been made. All their sins 
have been blotted out, all have been washed away in the 
fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. And now, all 
that they must suffer, and all that they must do — the varied 
dispensations of Providence, the pains of repentance, the ex- 
ercises of charity, the consecration of the life to deeds of 
goodness and of mercy — are but parts of the healthful disci- 
pline, graciously appointed by a wise and indulgent Father to 
His children, to form and to mold their characters, to adapt 
them to their high relation, to qualify them for their station, 


to make them capable of that inheritance of everlasting glory 
to which they have been elected. 

The maze of error which we have been contemplating 
springs from that early departure from the truth, that seminal 
principle of error, which represents Baptism as the beginning 
of the Divine Life — the first coming of the Holy Ghost, the 
Fountain of life, into the soul — and as the restoration of the 
baptized to perfect innocence, purity and uprightness. 

If the first part of this proposition were true, men could 
not be brought to baptism at all, except upon the Pelagian 
Irypothesis, that man retains such "relics" of his original 
goodness that he can love, believe, and obey the Divine Law. 
But this hypothesis discharges the Holy Spirit from all 
necessary agency in man's salvation, and was therefore by the 
whole Church rightly declared to be a deadly heresy. Leave 
out that hypothesis, and then, under this first branch of the 
Romish theory of Baptism, there could be no subjects for 
baptism at all, unless unbelieving and unrepentant sinners 
were dragged to the Sacrament, or brought, as the natives of 
East India actually were, by the Jesuit Missionaries, who 
Burrounded them with soldiers and drove them to the Font. 




The Covenant of Grace has been in operation ever siDce 
the first promise of a Redeemer. This covenant was made 
more specific in its form, and its character beautifully 
illustrated by the call and mission of Abraham. The same 
Covenant of Grace attained its full and glorious completion 
in Christ the Savior of the world. The peculiarity of the 
Abrahamic form of the covenant was the separation of that 
patriarch and all his successors in the faith from the world, 
by a solemn religious consecration and mark of difference. 
The visible Church of God, which before had contained the 
whole of mankind, was now restricted to those who received 
this mark of election and adoption. And because this char- 
acteristic feature in the constitution of the Church has been 
continued ever since, and is made perpetual under the Chris- 
tian dispensation, Abraham, in whom it was begun, is called, 
by way of eminence, the Father of the Faithful — of all be- 
lievers who are thus visibly separated from the world. 

The purposes for which the Levitical law and the national 
covenant with Abraham had been superinduced upon the ear- 
lier Covenant of Grace, were all completed by the sacrifice of 
Christ. From that moment the subjects of that law were 
absolved from its obligations, and the former Covenant of 
Grace through faith, which had never been abrogated, re- 
mained, the common inheritance of Jew and Gentile. But 


the Jew of St. Paul's day, puffed up with spiritual pride, 
east dishonor upon the God of his salvation, by rigidly re- 
stricting the grace of God to the subjects of the national 
covenant. According to him, circumcision was not the sign 
and seal of God's favor, and the introduction to peculiar 
blessings and privileges, but it was the actual and -exclusive 
bestowal of that favor of God which is life: and there was 
no favor, or love, or mercy, for the uncircumcised. This 
narrow, contracted, and technical system, the Apostle strongly 
reprobates in the Epistle to the Romans and elsewhere. St. 
Paul does not tell us that one technical and disparaging view 
of God's mercy had been abrogated, in order to make way 
for just such another. But he contends that the Jewish 
gloss upon the Divine institution was always untrue. He 
vindicates against that gloss the fullness and freeness of the 
Divine goodness as witnessed in the rite of circumcision, and 
emphatically derives the Christian Church from the Abra- 
hamic form of the Covenant of Grace, and demonstrates the 
fullness and freeness of the Christian dispensation, because 
of the fullness and freeness of the Abrahamic. 

Now, therefore, adopting the method of the Apostle, in his 
argument with the Jews, if we ascertain clearly the relation 
which our father Abraham bore to the rite of Circumcision, 
we shall at the same time have determined as clearly the re- 
lations which Christians bear to the Sacrament of Baptism. 

1. Circumcision was the instituted way of initiation into a 
social body, elected to be the special people of God; and sub- 
sisting under the form, first of the family, and then of the 
nation. And it was to be indiscriminately applied to all 
males who were capable of composing a part of a family or 
of a nation. (Gen. xvii, 10-12.) 

So Baptism is the Sacrament of initiation — the actual 
adoption — into the family and kingdom of our Savior Christ. 


"Go ye therefore into all the world, discipling all nations, 
baptizing them," says the Divine commission. It is impossi- 
ble for language to be more comprehensive than this. "Dis- 
cipling" — every one who has capacity to learn, in "all na- 
tions:" that is, every human being born into the world, and 
as soon as it is born; for then the capacity for instruction 
exists, and then the duty of instruction begins. And all 
these, all capable of learning, in all nations, must be baptized ; 
admitted, by solemn adoption, into the family of Christ; in- 
corporated, by full naturalization, into the kingdom of Christ. 

2. The sanction under which these related institutions were 
proposed. See Genesis xvii, 14, for the sentence against 
those who despised circumcision : " That soul shall be cut off 
from his people; he hath broken my covenant." In accord- 
ance with this we read, in St. Mark xvi, 16, "He that believ- 
eth and is baptized shall be saved." 

But why, in the economy of salvation, were such tremendous 
sanctions attached to the performance of external rites so 
unimportant in themselves as Circumcision and Baptism? 
Salvation is a system of grace and mercy, adapted by Infinite 
Wisdom to man's nature and position. It is a part of the 
Divine plan, contrived by this Infinite Wisdom, that all be- 
lievers should be organized into that social body which God 
calls His Church. The Church is an integral part of the 
revealed way of salvation. It is a perpetual body corporate, 
organized with reference both to the spiritual condition of 
each believer, and to the accomplishment of the purposes of 
God in regard to the publication and perpetuation of the 
truth. To adapt the economy of grace to man's nature, God 
requires the active labor and service of every man in the 
work of his own and of others' salvation. And He com- 
mands every one, to whom the Gospel is proposed, to come 
into His Church and labor there in his appointed station, for 


the fulfillment of the merciful purpose of God toward him- 
self, and toward the whole world. To refuse, or to neglect 
to do this, is to refuse or despise the mercy of God. It is 
to reject the salvation of the Gospel. 

3. The Prototype of Baptism, Circumcision, is called a 
sign and a seal. It was a sign and seal of adoption into 
God's family — of admission into His kingdom. Baptism is 
just such a sign and seal. And in regard to this effect, the 
Abrahamic and the Christian rite of initiation, produced the 
thing which they signified. This results from the nature of 
the institution and of the purpose to be effected by it. Just 
as a deed is at the same time the evidence of a grant, and 
the very grant itself, which passes the land, and invests the 
purchaser with the title. Therefore, we say that Baptism 
effects that New Birth into the kingdom of Grace, which it 
witnesses, and of which it is the appointed sign. 

But does Baptism actually thus accomplish all the other 
things of which it is the sign and the seal? Does it confer 
upon "its recipient the favor of God, as well as certify that 
favor? Does it recreate the heart? Does it infuse love into 
the soul? Does it change a guilty sinner into a holy inno- 
cent? So says the mischievous theology of Borne. But we 
have seen that this was the very corruption and degradation 
of religion under the elder form of the covenant, as if its 
sacraments were charms and sorceries, which St. Paul was 

Circumcision was, and Baptism is, the sign and seal of the 
favor of God. But neither bestowed that favor in the first 
instance, as is now strangely said. For Abraham had long 
been pre-eminently in the favor of God before the appoint- 
ment of this seal. Cornelius had found favor with God be- 
fore he received the Christian seal of that favor. Circumcision 
was, and Baptism is, the sign and seal of the imputation of 


Christ's righteousness. "Cometh this blessedness then upon 
the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also?" 
(Rom. iv, 8, 9.) The Apostle here, by a pregnant inference, 
affirms that this was imputed to the uncircumcised. There- 
fore, surely, to the unbaptized as well. Circumcision was, 
and baptism is, the sign and seal of the righteousness of 
faith; but neither bestowed that righteousness. For St. 
Paul expressly rules the contrary of the one: "He received 
the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the 
faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised." (Rom. iv, 11.) 
And every Baptism of an adult person is a like demonstra- 
tion in regard to the other. For there must be faith, formed 
and in exercise, as the condition of Baptism. 

Thus we might go through the whole circle of Christian 
graces, and show that Baptism does not produce them, but 
witnesses the previous gift, and the continued promise, of 
that Holy Spirit from which they all proceed. It is the ob- 
ject of the Christian life so to follow the guidance of that 
blessed Spirit, given unto us, that all our powers and affec- 
tions, all our appetites and passions, may be conformed to 
the will of God, and our whole nature transformed into th' 
likeness of the Son of God. 

A distinction is sometimes attempted between the partici- 
pation of Christ, which is said to be the peculiar effect 
and operation of Baptism, and the other graces of the 
Spirit, which are admitted to have been given to God's ancient 
people, and to some unbaptized persons now. But this dis- 
tinction will not stand when the test of Scripture is applied. 
For the Apostle tells us that all the members of the Church 
in the wilderness, good and bad, "did all eat the same spiritual 
meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they 
drank of that spiritual rock that followed them; and that 
rock icas Christ." (1 Corinthians x, 3, 4.) And the same 


Apostle adds, that the evil among them "tempted Christ." 
(lb. 5-9.) 

This parallel between the former and the later form of the 
Covenant of Grace leads us to the conclusion, so often reached 
before, that Christ is indeed the second Adam, the head and 
representative therefore, not of a few individuals, arbitrarily- 
designated, either by a decree in heaven, or by a Sacrament 
on earth, but of the whole race of mankind : curing in that 
whole race, by supernatural gifts, the corruption of nature, 
so far as to place every man once more fairly in a state of 
freedom and probation. This is the great truth, the recog- 
nition of which, as the basis of all Christian doctrine, will 
most effectually remove the stumbling blocks which human 
systems have cast in our way. 

This adorable mystery, the Word made flesh, is the con- 
nection of all humanity with Christ, in a union as close and 
as vital as that which subsists between the same humanity 
and the first Adam. As in the latter all the myriads who 
have succeeded him were included, and from him are derived, 
so to the Second Adam the same all of human nature is 
conjoined by the power of the Holy Ghost. In Christ is 
included the whole family of man for justification, in the 
same sense and to tlie same extent, in and to which they were 
included in the first man to condemnation. It is impossible 
otherwise to understand that continuously presented analogy 
between the two which runs through the whole history of 
salvation, and which is summed up by St. Paul in that pro- 
found and comprehensive summary of the mysteries of re- 
demption, the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corin- 

This derivation of the spiritual life of Christ to the whole 
race of mankind, restoring men to freedom, and leading them 
to good, shows us how Christ hath bought us with His own 


blood; and yet we are permitted to choose whose servants we 
will be. This explains how we are freely justified; and yet 
by faith we are saved. How when we were enemies we were 
reconciled to God by the death of His Son; and yet we are 
continually entreated to be reconciled. How the Lord is our 
Righteousness; and yet without personal holiness no man 
can see the Lord. The resolution of all these apparent dif- 
ficulties, which have so puzzled the makers of theological 
systems, is found in the fact that a glorious part of the work 
of Christ was performed for us, freely, without any agency, 
co-operation, or knowledge, upon our part. This is the work 
spoken of under various names, as the redemption, the atone- 
ment, reconciliation, justifying the ungodly, taking our nature 
into union with the Godhead, becoming the Lord our Right- 
eousness. All this has been done for us, and without our 

But all this is not salvation, except in the case of those 
innocents, who, by the sole virtue of this redemption, are 
made holy by the inspiration of God's Spirit; and of whom 
it was therefore said by their Redeemer, the King of Right- 
eousness, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." In every 
other instance, all this glorious work of the Savior of men is 
not salvation, either to the few or the many. But it is the 
elevation of our common nature to the capacity of salvation; 
and the pledge of Almighty power to co-operate with every 
believer in making this salvation sure. The sole work of 
Christ places every man in a state of trial, and by the gift 
of the Holy Ghost puts him upon the vantage ground, in 
the contest for heaven and eternal life, against the forces of 
an evil nature, an evil world, and evil spirits. 

This is the great central truth of Christianity, around 
which various systems of error have circled, each revolving 
in its own narrow orbit. Calvinism, Universalism, and 


Romanism, alike, and equally, deny that every man, through 
Christ, is in a state of probation, of trial, for heaven or for 
hell. The maintainers of these systems forget that the 
whole race of mankind has been living ever since the fall 
under the dispensation of Grace. To the same common 
ancestor whose transgression brought upon his race the death 
and pollution of human nature, was the promise made of re- 
demption through Christ. It is the grace given, the new 
life imparted through this Mediator — the second Adam — to 
co-exist with the old and corrupt nature which we derive 
from the first Adam, and to operate upon that nature to the 
utter extinction of its vileness and guiltiness, that constitutes 
the present condition of mankind a state of Probation, of 
Trial. Reprobation is the inevitable consequence when men 
reject the terms of salvation, and sin away their day of Grace. 




Every age of the Church has exhibited something of 
that Jewish exclusiveness which held that the grace and 
mercy of God were restricted to their own communion, and 
that all the rest of -mankind were only permitted to be born 
and to live in order that they might be the wretched subjects 
of the Divine displeasure. This spirit was not long in find- 
ing an entrance into the Christian Church, so that in the fifth 
century it was formally maintained by St. Augustine, that all 
heathens, and all infants dying unbaptized, were undoubtedly 
damned. Some persons in our day, whose principles would 
logically lead to this horrid conclusion, are happily enabled to 
supercede their principles by what they call a "charitable 
hope." But if that hope has no foundation in the Word of 
God, then it is illusory and vain; and to call it "charitable" 
is to arrogate to ourselves a charity beyond that of the In- 
finite Love. But if that hope has a firm foundation, then 
the principles that are against it had better be abandoned. 

This severe exclusiveness is formally defended upon the 
ground that the Divine Word and the formularies of the 
Church, in stating the terms and conditions of salvation to 
those to whom the Gospel is preached, do not specially ex- 
cept from the binding force of these terms and conditions 
those to whom the Gospel has not been proposed. Yet such 
an exception is so necessary and so obvious, that the formal 


statement of it would seem to be improper and out of place. 
For the Gospel and the formularies of the Church speak only 
to and of those who have them. 

There is one expression in our Catechism which, if rigidly 
and technically construed, without regard to the analogy of 
faith and to the most glorious truths of the Gospel, would 
inevitably conclude the revolting dogma of St. Augustine 
and his followers. The expression is, the answer of the child, 
that in Baptism he "was made a member of Christ, a child 
of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." 

Unquestionably there is a sense in which this declaration 
is true. The Church into which we are brought by Baptism 
is the mystical body of Christ. Baptism, therefore, makes 
us members of that mystical body, and, in a special and 
peculiar sense, as such, the children of God, and inheritors of 
the kingdom of heaven. Baptism is also the authoritative 
declaration, and tlie specific grant to the individual recipient, 
of all the benefits of Christ's incarnation, sacrifice, and medi- 
ation. So, Baptism is the solemn grant of remission of sins. 
But remission, or forgiveness of sins, being the mind of God 
toward the sinner, the sacramental or ministerial absolution 
is, of necessity, and by the nature of the case, but declarative — 
the Letters Patent — the authoritative declaration of the mind 
of God to the one subject of this Grace. 

To make this recognition of a special relation to Christ, 
and this authorized grant of all the mercies of God in Christ 
Jesus to the recipient of Baptism, work a denial to all other 
persons of any participation of Christ, of any influence of 
K:s Spirit, of any filial relation to God, is one of those in- 
stances of literal and unreasoning technicality to which St. 
Paul seems to have referred, when he said, "the letter kill- 
eth, it is the spirit that giveth life." Such an 'interpretation 
places ecclesiastical Christianity at hopeless variance with 


the Bible, with the human consciousness, and with human 

All the parts of Revelation take for* granted a certain pre- 
vious knowledge among those to whom the Revelation is 
made. The Bible does not open with a statement of the be- 
ing or attributes of God. It assumes this knowledge. So, 
because there is no formal statement of the immortality of 
the soul in the Old Testament, some theologians have 
strangely maintained that this truth was unknown to the 
ancient people of God, and that Divine revelation, before 
Christ, consisted only of transitory promises and threats. 
But if God's people had been thus ignorant, all the heathen 
nations would have shamed them, for this great truth ever 
remained an ineffaceable part of the convictions of mankind. 
The Old Testament simply assumes the knowledge of this 
truth — the universal truth which gives to the whole Revela- 
tion its meaning, force, and character. And this our Lord 
points out in His answer to the Sadducees. 

In accordance with this mode of teaching, neither Testa- 
ment tells any thing about the specific terms on which the 
Gentiles and the heathen, to whom the whole will of God has 
not been imparted, may nevertheless be partakers of the infinite 
mercy of the gracious and loving Father of all His children. 
Both Testaments assume the principle that God "is no re- 
specter of persons ; but in every nation he that feareth Him 
and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him; " "according 
to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not." 

Simply assuming this vital principle of the Divine govern- 
ment, without formally stating it, the Old Testament taught 
the Jewish Church that the Father of the faithful paid tithes 
to the Gentile Melchisedec, a Priest of the High God; that 
the wife of their law-giver, Moses, was a Gentile; that a 
Gentile Prophet had pronounced the most remarkable and 


glowing predictions concerning their nation and the Messiah; 
that from a Canaanite woman the Messiah was to come ; that 
Jonah was sent to be a successful preacher of repentance to 
the Ninevites ; that Cyrus was called to be an illustrious 
type of the Messiah — the "anointed" of the Lord to bring 
deliverance to His people. The very dedication of the tem- 
ple recognized the universal Fatherhood of God. 

Notwithstanding the plain inference from these and like 
instances, that God was not the God of the Jews only, but 
the God of all the whole earth, and that His Gentile ser- 
vants who used their one talent faithfully would not be unre- 
quited, the Jews of our Savior's time had settled down into 
that state of odious ecclesiastical bigotry which He so fre- 
quently and emphatically rebuked. 

Perhaps the most stinging of these rebukes is contained 
in the parable of the "certain man" who fell among thieves. 
The lawyer who was tempting our Savior had recited very 
correctly both tables of the law, according to their evangelic 
form, and then tried to elude the force of the injunction, 
"This do and thou shalt live," by raising a difficulty about 
the terms of the commandment. To remove. this difficulty 
the Teacher from Heaven shows to the casuist his acknowl- 
edged neighbors, a Priest and a Levite, cruelly violating the 
commandment, "resisting the Spirit of God, and quenching in 
selfishness and sensuality all His gracious influences; while 
the Samaritan, a man of the despised and hated race, mani- 
fests the graces and virtues of the same Spirit of love and 
holiness, in the most persuasive and engaging form, so that 
the soul of the bigoted Jew is taken captive, and he is 
obliged to confess that this hated alien is a brother to be 
loved, a child of God to be received. 

Again, when the ten lepers were cleansed, how careful is 
our Savior to call attention to the fact that only one, and he 


a Samaritan — a stranger — returned to give glory to God. 
The most illustrious instance of faith recorded in all the 
Gospels is by the Syro-Phenician woman, " the offspring of 
an accursed race," as Bishop Horsely emphatically remarks. 
The same blessed truth was taught by our Lord, when he re- 
minded the Jews of the many widows that were in Israel in 
the time of famine, "but unto none of them was Elias sent, 
6ave unto Sarepta a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a 
widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of 
Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed save 
Naaman the Syrian." (St. Luke iv, 25, 27.) 

St. John, recording the unconscious prophecy of the high- 
priest concerning the efficacy of the death of Christ, speaks 
familiarly of "the children of God" beyond the pale of the 
visible Church, scattered throughout the world. The words 
are emphatic and very beautiful: "And this spake he not of 
himself; but being high-priest that year, he prophesied that 
Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation 
only, but that also he should gather together in one the 
children of God that were scattered abroad." (St. John 
xi, 51, 52.) And the blessed Savior Himself said to the 
Jews, "And other sheep I have which are not of this 
fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my 
voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd." 
(St. John x, 16.) And, refuting the Sadducees in regard 
to the resurrection, Jesus said, "For He is not a God of 
the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him." (St. 
Luke xx, 38.) 

St. Paul, as we have seen, declares the reprobation of 
wicked Jews and wicked Gentiles in the same terms, and for 
the same cause. "Even as they did not like to retain God 
in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind." 
(Rom. i, 28.) The same Apostle tells the Athenians that 


they are "very religious," and worship ignorantly the God 
whom he declared unto them. 

The Primitive Church seems to have avoided the ecclesias- 
tical intolerance so severely denounced by our blessed Lord. 
For Justin Martyr, in his Apology, speaking for the Christian 
people, declares their sense of the universality of the life of 
God in the soul of man. It appears that the heathen per- 
secutors had attempted to defame the Christians by ascribing 
to them the belief that salvation was restricted to themselves. 
Justin replies in this memorable sentence: 

"But lest any one should unreasonably object to what is 
taught by us, saying that Christ was born but a hundred and 
fifty years since, in the time of Cyrenius, and taught what 
we ascribe to him still later, under Pontius Pilate, and should 
accuse us of maintaining that all men who lived before that 
time were not accountable for their actions, we will anticipate 
and solve the difficulty. We have learned, and have before 
explained, that Christ was the first begotten of God, being 
the Word, or Reason, of which all men were partakers. 
They, then, who lived agreeably to reason were really Chris- 
tians, even if they were considered Atheists, such as Socrates, 
Heraclitus, and the like among the Greeks; and among other 
nations, Abraham, Ananias, Azarias, Misael and Elias, and 
many others, the actions and even the names of whom we 
at present omit, knowing how tedious the enumeration would 
be. Those, therefore, who of old lived without right reason, 
the same were bad men, and enemies to Christ, and the 
murderers of those who lived agreeably to reason. Whereas 
they who ever lived, or now live, in a manner which reason 
would approve, are truly Christians, and free from fear or 
trouble." (Apology, sec. 61.) 

Tertullian, in his treatise on " The testimony of the Soul," 
proves that God has taught to all men, of which they give 


perpetual utterance, some of the most concerning truths of 
Christianity. "These testimonies of the soul are as simple 
as they are true, as trite as they are simple, as common as 
they are trite, as natural as they are common, as divine as 
they are natural. . . . Nature is the mistress, the soul 
is the disciple: whatsoever the one hath taught or the other 
hath learned, hath been delivered to them by God, who is, 
in truth, the Master even of the mistress herself. What no- 
tion the soul is able to conceive respecting its first Teacher, 
it is in thy power to judge from that soul which is within 
thee. . . . Even when compassed about by its adversary, 
it remembereth its Author, and His goodness, and His de- 
cree, and its own end, and its adversary himself. So it is a 
strange thing if, being given by God, it teacheth those self- 
same things which God hath given unto His people to know! 
But he who doth not think that such utterances of the soul are 
the teaching of a congenial nature, and the silent deposits 
of an innate conscience, will say rather that the habit of such 
forms of speech hath now become confirmed by the doctrines 
of public books being wafted about among the people. Surely 
the soul existed before letters, and discourse before books, 
and the thought which is written before the writing of it, 
and the man himself before the philosopher and the poet." 
(De Testimonio Anim£e,sec. 5.) 

Bishop Harold Browne reports Clement of Alexandria as 
holding "that God mysteriously worked in the Gentiles by 
His Grace, using, as an external means, the imperfect instru- 
ment of their own philosophy. So that whatever good he 
thought might have existed in heathens he still ascribed 
to God's Grace, and therefore did not consider their good- 
ness 'as works done before the Grace of Christ.'" (Browne, 
art, 13.) 

It was a sad declension from the purity of the early Church 


which reproduced, in the fifth century, the intense bigotry 
of Jewish Pharisaism. Article 13, concerning merit ds> 
congruo, is directed against an awkward effort of the school- 
men to escape from the consequences of the Augustinian 
error which denied that "the Grace of God hath appeared to 
all men." That Grace is a free gift to all, and can not be 
merited or purchased by any. 

Coming down to later times, we find the most influential 
man in the direction of the English Reformation — the mar- 
tyr Ridley — declaring: "By the which oblation of Christ's 
body once offered up for all sinners, all were made perfectly 
reconciled, had forgiveness of sins, and were made beloved 
to God the Father, and heirs of his kingdom by Christ." 
"Seeing that some of" the Gentiles, uncircumcised in the 
flesh, but circumcised in spirit and in heart, were of the elect 
people of God to salvation, we may gather that there may 
be of the elect of God amongst the Turks and Pagans, 
although they have not our outward Christian profession, as 
were amongst these Gentiles some better Christians than were 
many amongst the Jews." (Com. on Ephes.) 

The good sense of John Calvin so far prevailed over his 
narrow system as to induce him to say : " The children of the 
faithful are not baptized for that reason that they may then 
first be made children of God, &c. But rather they are 
therefore received by that solemn sign into the Church, be- 
cause they did before belong to the body of Christ by virtue 
of the promise." (Cited by Wall, vol. 4, p. 14.) 

That eminent Divine, Dr. James M'Cosh, of the Scotch 
Presbyterian Church, quotes, with full approbation, in the 
paper formerly referred to, the following from John Calvin: 
"So often as we look into profane writers, let us be admon- 
ished, by that light of truth which shines forth admirably in 
them, that the mind of man, however much it may have fallen 


and been perverted from its integrity, is still clothed and 
adorned with excellent gifts of God. If we consider the Spirit 
of God tlie sole fountain of truth, we shall neither reject nor 
ontenin that truth wherever it appears, unless we choose to be 
contemptuous to the Spirit of God. For the gifts of the Spirit 
are not reviled without contempt and opprobrium of the Spirit 
himself. What, shall we deny that truth shone upon those 
ancient jurists who set forth, with so much correctness, the 
order and discipline of civil life? Shall we say that philos- 
ophers have been blinded, both in their exquisite contempla- 
tion of nature and in their artistic description of her beauties? 
Shall we say that capacity was wanting to those who, elab- 
orating the art of discourse, have taught us to speak in 
accordance with reason?" 

This direct reference of all that is beautiful and true in 
human achievement to the immediate influence of the Holy 
Spirit, is an unexpected testimony from the stern but strong 
nature of the Genevan reformer. 

Jeremy Taylor, speaking of the pardon effected by the 
death of Christ, thus discourses: "And this is not only a 
favor to us who were born in the due time of the Gospel, 
but to all mankind since Adam; for God, who is infinitely 
patient in His justice, was not at all patient in His mercy; 
He forbears to strike and punish us, but He would not for- 
bear to provide cure for us and remedy. For, as if God 
could not stay from redeeming us, he promised the Redeemer 
to Adam in the beginning of the world's sin ; and Christ was 
'the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world.' 
God had mercy on all mankind before Christ's manifestation, 
even beyond the mercies of their covenant; and they were 
saved as we are, by 'the seed of the woman,' by 'God incar- 
nate,' by 'the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world/ 
not by works, for we all failed of them; that is, not by an 


exact obedience, but by faith working by love." (Sermon 
on the Miracles of the Divine Mercy.) 

Bishop Horsley, discoursing upon that remarkable profes- 
sion of faith made first by the woman, and afterward by the 
men of Sychar, says, "These Samaritans, who knew not 
what they worshiped, had truer notions of the Messiah's 
office, and of the nature and the extent of the deliverance 
He was to work, than the Jews had, who for many ages 
had been the chosen depositaries of the Oracles of God." 
And adds, "God had provided that something of a mirac- 
ulous, besides the natural witness of Himself, should remain 
among the Gentiles in the darkest ages of idolatry. We 
shall find, if I fhistake not. that a miraculous testimony of 
God, as the tender parent of mankind, founded upon early 
revelations and wide spread prophesies, besides that testi- 
mony which the woiks of nature bear to Him as the univer- 
sal Lord, was ever existing in the heathen world, although 
for many ages the one was little regarded, and the other lay 
buried and concealed." 

The discriminating sense and genial spirit of Olshausen 
often present to him a beautiful perception of the glorious 
fullness of redemption as disclosed in the Divine Word. 
But the influence of the reactionary evangelicalism of his 
time and country sometimes obscures those perceptions, and 
betrays him into gross inconsistencies. Here are some of his 
better utterances. On St. John viii, 30, 32, he thus writes: 
"It may, therefore, be said that the words, to be in my word, 
or, inversely, my word is in any one, are applicable to the 
most depraved person, when he experiences the power of 
God even against his will. To be entirely free from the Word 
}f God would be a predicate of the deviUsli. But his gaining 
salvation from the Word of God depends entirely on his re- 
maining. The depraved man seeks to get rid of the trouble- 


some adnionisher as soon as possible, and drives the Spirit of 
God away from himself." 

Again, on St. John xv, 5, 8: "This idea is especially 
amplified in the verses now following, of which the words, 
for apart from me ye can do nothing, contain the central truth. 
If man could, whenever he pleased, and without the power 
of Christ, create in himself noble, holy inclinations and res- 
olutions, then he could also act without Christ. On the 
other hand, obSiv, (nothing,') is to be taken as very emphatic. 
For if it be alleged that it is not absolutely all acting, but 
only what is good that is impossible without Christ, still it 
must be confessed that only that which is good is real, while 
evil is null and futile. Or should it be said that man can 
perform many lands of good actions without Christ — as, for 
example, the heathen did by nature the things contained in 
the law — it must not be overlooked that Christ, as the Logos 
from eternity, who lighteth every man, (John i, 9) is in all 
ages the power that excites to all good. Oudiv, therefore, 
maintains its widest signification. No one is good but the 
one God, and he in whom God operates through the Son; 
there is none good beside him who is the only good." 

Bishop Harold Browne, in his masterly work on the Arti- 
cles, too often uses the common language in regard to Bap- 
tism, which makes it the only source and beginning of spirit- 
ual life, thus wantonly arraying universal observation and 
consciousness against Christianity. But when he comes to 
put out of the way objections to the true doctrine of Bap- 
tismal Regeneration, he is compelled to see, and clearly 
states, the whole truth. To the objection "that it is by faith 
we embrace Christ, and through faith receive the Spirit of 
God — that, therefore, to make Baptism the means of receiv- 
ing Grace, is to put it in the place of faith," he answers: "It 
can not be that faith is requisite before any Grace can be 


given ; for it is quite certain that there can be no faith unless 
Grace has first been given to generate faith. Otherwise 
we are inevitably Pelagians. 'The natural man receiveth 
not the things of the Spirit of God.' Therefore, it is 
quite clear that there must be some quickening from the 
Spirit before there can be any faith. To magnify faith so as 
to make it essential to the first reception of Grace, is to take 
away 'the free gift of God.' If God can not give till we 
believe, His gift is not free, coming down from the bounty of 
Him ' who giveth liberally and upbraideth not,' but is attracted 
(that we may not say merited) by our faith." 

This, it will be perceived, refutes one of the false gospels 
of the day by the same arguments which I have already em- 
ployed for the same purpose. I give the remainder of his 
reply to the same objection, because it introduces the con- 
demnation of this opinion by two of the most eminent Re- 
formers : 

"Besides, this would go near to damn all infants. They 
can not have faith. Yet, unless they be regenerated, they are 
not within the promise of eternal life. (John iii, 3-5.) This 
is Calvin's argument against impugners of infant baptism. 
Infants, he contends, must be capable of regeneration, though 
they are not capable of faith; else they could not receive 
purgation from innate corruption. 'How,' ask they, 'can in- 
fants be regenerate who know neither good nor evil?' We 
reply, 'God's work is not of none effect, though not down 
to our understanding. It is clear that infants who are saved 
must first be regenerate. For, if they bear a corrupt nature 
from their mother's womb, they must be purged of it before 
entering God's kingdom, where nothing entereth polluted or 
defiled.'" (Institut., 4: 16, 17.) 

Luther, who of all men spoke most earnestly of the im- 
portance of faith and its office in justifying, uses still stronger 


language in condemnation of this opinion. He complains 
that Papists and Anabaptists conspire together- against the 
Church of G-od, ' making Grod's work to hinge on man's worthi- 
ness. For so the Anabaptists teach, that Baptism is nothing 
unless the person baptized be believing. From such a prin- 
ciple,' he says, 'it needs must follow, that all God's works are 
nothing, unless the recipient be good.' " 

In noticing the next objection, Browne puts an extinguisher 
on the Romish theory of Baptism, and consequently on that 
opinion which his previous loose language had seemed to 

"A fourth objection is as follows: In the case of adults it 
is admitted that baptismal grace will not be bestowed on such 
recipients as come in an unbelieving and impenitent spirit. 
But if there be already repentance and faith, there must be 
already regeneration, and therefore regeneration can not be 
given in baptism. 

" Here, again, the misunderstanding results from difference 
of definition. The Church calls the grace of Baptism by the 
name of regeneration, for reasons already specified; but she 
does not deny that G-od may work in the souls of men pre- 
viously to their Baptism. But that spiritual life she does not 
call the new birth, till it is manifested in the Sacrament of 
regeneration. We must remember that the terms new birth 
and regeneration are images borrowed from natural objects, 
and applied to spiritual objects. In nature, we believe life to 
exist in the infant before it is born — life, too, of the same 
kind as its life after birth. Nay! if there be no life before 
it is born, there will be none after it is born. So, the unbap- 
tized may not be altogether destitute of spiritual life ; yet the 
actual birth may be considered as taking place at Baptism; 
where there is not only life, but life apparent, life proclaimed 
to the world; when the soul receives the seal of adoption, is 


counted iu the family of God, and not only partakes of God's 
grace and mercy, but has a covenanted assurance and title to 
it." (Art. 27.) 

The Fathers of the American Church, with that com- 
manding breadth of intellect which belonged to the leading 
minds of this country at that eventful period, and with an 
intimate knowledge of the real thoughts and perplexities of 
educated men, not possessed by ordinary theologians, were 
far more distinct, clear, and Scriptural, in their conceptions 
and statements of the relation of Baptism to the way of sal- 
vation than their contemporaries elsewhere. They gave to the 
language of Scripture and of the Church, in regard to Bap- 
tism, a natural and consistent meaning, which does not in- 
volve the double absurdity, first of dividing children and men 
who think, feel, and act precisely alike, into two contrasted 
classes, the one having the life of God in the soul, the other 
utterly destitute of that life ; and then calling upon the per- 
sons who compose the latter class to peribrm the very highest 
acts of spiritual life — to believe, repent, and turn with the 
whole heart to God. 

I have formerly cited Bishop Seabury — the first Catholic 
Bishop in the United States — upon the meaning of the terms 
Life and Death, with special reference to the fall and restora- 
tion of man. 

In one of his published sermons he says : " The first inti- 
mation of a Savior to deliver man from sin and death was 
made to Adam when God said, ' The seed of the woman shall 
bruise the head of the serpent.' This promise being made 
before Adam had any posterity must include the whole hu- 
man race." (Vol. 1, p. 96.) And in another place, "To 
this Baptism, and the regeneration therein signified, it was 
that our Savior referred, when he showed his surprise at the 
dullness of Nicodemus in not apprehending his discourse: 


' Art thou a master in Israel and knoweth not these things ' — 
that Baptism is the figure of and represents a new or second 
birth?" (lb. p. 110.) 

It is in the paper formerly quoted, and which remained 
unpublished until 1858, that Bishop Seabury treats pro- 
foundly and thoroughly of this great subject. A few ex- 
tracts must suffice *us: 

"No sooner had man sinned than God was in Christ, rec- 
onciling the world — human nature — unto Himself. . . . 
The seed of the woman, said God, shall bruise the serpenfo 

"If nothing more was meant by this expression than that 
some great punishment should be inflicted upon the old 
Serpent who had beguiled Adam, it would have had little or 
no influence upon the recovery of mankind. Something 
wanted to be done within man — in the very center of his 
being — in order to save him. He had gotten a crooked, per- 
verse, and serpentine nature, which required to be bruised, 
crushed, brought to nothing in him, that the holy, heavenly 
nature which he had lost might be renewed in him. 

" Every word of God is attended with power. He that said, 
'Let there be light, and there was light' — He now, as I take 
it, imparted to Adam, and consequently to his whole pos- 
terity, a new principle, or sensibility of goodness, called the 
seed of the woman — something of the holy nature of Christ — 
in order to make it possible for Adam to recover again that 
holy nature which he had lost. This shows how Christ was 
the Savior of men before He personally appeared in the world; 
because He was in them the Bruiser of the serpent, the Cor- 
rector of their evil tempers and passions, and the Author and 
Finisher of all the virtue and goodness that showed itself among 

" To cultivate and bring to perfection this principle of good- 


ness, which was in man like a seed in the earth, was the end 
and design of all the laws and religious institutions which 
in different ages God gave to mankind, and which have varied 
according as their exigencies required, till, in the fullness of 
time — that is, when His infinite wisdom saw best — He sent 
His Son really and visibly to take the fallen human "nature 
upon Him, in order to accomplish its redemption." 

"I have already observed that a Divine Principle, or a 
sensibility of goodness, was imparted to Adam when Glod 
gave him the promise of a Savior, the Seed of the Woman. 
This sensibility of goodness is the only foundation of virtue 
and holiness in man. Without it he would have no capacity 
of either. To bring this to perfection in man is the end and 
design of all that Christ hath done. 

"In the same proportion that this is cherished and attended 
to it will grow and increase ; and in the same proportion the 
fallen nature will decline and die away. But if it be checked 
and suppressed it will become weak, and the evil lusts and 
propensities of our fallen nature will gather strength. 

"This principle God always loves, and always elects, 
because it is something of His own likeness and nature. He 
can not turn away from it nor reject it. Its breathings after 
Him He always regards, and always meets its tendencies to- 
ward Him." 

"If we attend to the Scriptures, and study honestly our 
own tempers and dispositions, it will be no hard matter to 
distinguish what the influences of the Spirit are, nor to deter- 
mine when we have them. The fruit of the Spirit, said St. 
Paul, is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, 
faith — meaning, here, fidelity or faithfulness— -meekness, tem- 
perance. Where these tempers and dispositions are, there 
undoubtedly is the Holy Spirit ; because He can not produce 
these fruits where He is not. Aud if these virtues are the 


fruit of the Spirit, then all wishes, desires, and endeavors 
after these virtues are influences from the Spirit. And, by 
parity of reasoning, all holy desires, and virtuous purposes, 
and pious wishes, are from the same Spirit. When we com- 
ply with them, and turn our minds to fulfill them, we co- 
operate with the Spirit, we are led by the Spirit. But if we 
check, and suppress, and turn away from them after evil 
purposes and designs, we quench, and grieve, and drive away 
the Spirit." 

Tradition tells us that that man of wondrous power, 
Bishop Bavenscroft, of North Carolina, was especially clear in 
his teachings upon this subject. His few published writings 
contain only such general expressions as the following. In 
his answer to Dr. Bice, he said: "And I will here take leave 
to ask this learned reviewer, to what purpose he would 
press the doctrines and duties of the Gospel on, or in what 
method he would proceed to produce the conversion of a 
fallen being — absolutely unregenerated?" Again, he says: 
"Show us, if you please, upon what principle of reason or 
religion it can be said to any fallen creature, debarred of all 
benefit from the atonement of the Cross of Christ, 'believe 
in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved?'" 

In yet another place: " Begeneration is a special grace, 
certified to us in the Sacrament of Baptism; conversion is a 
subsequent operation of the Holy Spirit upon the practical 
sinner, and it is inconceivable even without previous regen- 

It will be observed that Bishop Bavenscroft, in both these 
places, uses the term Begeneration to express that universal 
participation of Christ, that spiritual life, which precedes the 
new birth in Baptism, as, he says, it must precede conversion. 

One of the ablest theologians that the American Church 
has produced, Bishop H. U. Onderdonk, of Pennsylvania, 


treated of "Man's Infection of Nature" in three elaborate 
articles, of which the following sentences express the general 
conclusion upon the subject of our examination: 

" But for Christ we should have no light in our souls, and 
be in entire depravity. Through Christ, however, a measure 
of light is restored to all men, the moral sense, moral obliga- 
tion or conscience, moral ability; and thus in all men de- 
pravity is tempered with some degree of goodness. Never- 
theless, our taint of nature is so inveterate that the carnal 
mind remains in us, even after it is overcome by the new and 
better mind produced by the Sanctifier; it remains in us, and 
wars mightily against His gracious workings. Only by His 
energetic, and constant, and unwearied striving is sin even 
then prevented from having dominion over us." 

Upholding the agreement between Article 9 and " the deep 
and vital doctrine I have endeavored to secern from gratui- 
tous error," the Bishop adds: 

" Both phrases (in the Article) in the true doctrine of origi- 
nal sin, refer to what that inherent depravity ' the flesh,' man's 
'corrupted nature,' is in itself, unaffected by the interposition 
of Christ : i. e. depravity, in or by itself, is nothing but 
iepravity; and that mere depravity 'lusteth always against 
the Spirit,' it can do nothing better; and even when the Spirit 
conferred by Christ conquers it, it still remains through life a 
rebellious prompter. Through Christ and the Spirit it can 
be overcome and kept under; but without this Bansom and 
this Light, granted, however, to all, the moral infection hath 
no antidote, and can not be other than perpetually virulent." 

It will be observed that all these witnesses in the American 
Church are especially clear and definite in the statement, 
that all goodness in man comes from the influence of God's 
Spirit, — from that divinely assisted new nature in man which 
wars against the flesh — the old, corrupt nature This is the 


point in the conception of the Divine Life in the soul of man 
which has seemed to be most difficult of reception. A dis- 
tinguished living Prelate, to whom I am indebted for many 
beautiful and forcible suggestions, says of this statement: 
"If so, there is no difference but in degree, none in essence 
and kind, between the goodness of the Saints and that which 
lingeis in the most corrupt of mankind, and the line of sep- 
aration in the day of judgment is only one of more, or less, 
of the preponderance of good or evil. This is my great dif- 
ficulty in your work; and I suspect this is at the root of all 
the honest and unbiased opposition that it may have encount- 

To be so fully sustained against this fairly stated objection 
by the illustrious witnesses just referred to, and by the great 
moralists, Bishop Butler and Sir William Hamilton, is very 
gratifying. And all who are equally fair and candid as the 
kind objector above quoted, will, perhaps, be willing to concur 
in one conclusion, when they remember that all the statements 
of the Divine Word make the question of good and evil in 
men one of "degree," of the "preponderance of good over 
evil," during the time of probation: but that at the final 
judgment it is no longer a question of "more or less," but 
of the entire loss by the obstinately impenitent of all that 
made them capable of probation in this life. 

The wise and the foolish virgins alike went out with their 
lamps lighted, and with oil of the same quality in their lamps. 
But the foolish made no provision for a future supply, and 
when the Bridegroom came their lamps were "gone out." 
The unprofitable servant who hid his lord's money, received 
a talent of equal value with each of those which had been 
delivered to his fellow servants. But the talent which he had 
failed to improve was taken from him, and then he was cast 
into outer darkness. And in the formal description of the 


last judgment, it is apparent that the righteous have fully 
exercised, and so developed into saintliness, those kindly 
affections which all admit to be the common possession of 
mankind: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the 
least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." While 
the wicked have so quenched in sensuality, selfishness, and 
crime these same affections, that God has withdrawn His 
Spirit, and given them over to a reprobate mind : "And these 
shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous 
into life eternal." (St. Matt, xxv.) 

I have the pleasure of presenting here the testimony of the 
late Rev. Samuel Farmar Jarvis, D. D., L. L. D., whose praise 
is in all the churches. In a letter to me, dated February 4, 
1851, a few weeks before his death, and probably the last 
letter he ever wrote, he says: 

"I am sure it will gratify you, as it has gratified me, to 
find that your views of the Divine life in the soul of man are 
fully supported in my history. Permit me to call your atten- 
tion in particular to p. 12, that all the descendants of Adam 
and Eve were born under the Gospel Covenant, and 
consequently had the Divine life given them through Jesus 
Christ; and to the striving- of the Holy Ghost, p. 17, and 
note to Gen. vi, 3. I might refer to many other parts which 
support your doctrine fully; and, therefore, as far as history 
could with propriety enter into doctrine, will be found serv- 
iceable to you. Is it not strange to see how theories bias 
men's minds? Pelagianism denying the prevenient grace of 
God. Romanism doing in effect the same thing. Calvinism 
limiting the grace of God and the extent of human redemp- 
tion. How admirably does the Catholic Church, as exhibited 
in the teachings of the Prayer-Book, show forth that clear 
and steady light of the Gospel which blends all into the har- 
mony of truth." 


The plain and perspicuous statement of the truth by this 
venerable and distinguished scholar but expresses the pro- 
found convictions of the able men of his day, the Fathers 
of the American Church.* 

I will conclude this array of testimony with the language 
of another noble witness. When the first edition of a part 
of this work was published, in 1850, the current theories of 
the day on the subject of Baptism, hinging on the Gorham 
controversy, presented an apparent opposition between moral 
science and Christian truth. Such a discrepancy brought a 
heavy and undeserved reproach upon Christianity, of which 
we are still reaping the sad consequences. Soon after this 
publication the late Bishop Otey, of Tennessee, wrote to me, 
expressing his cordial concurrence in all the views I had pre- 
sented. In this letter he says: "I am satisfied that the views 
which you entertain do away effectually .with the whole diffi- 
culty between the Bishop of Exeter and Mr. Gorham. They 
are both wrong, in my opinion, and so I have said freely and 
repeatedly to my Brethren of the Clergy in Tennessee, and I 
was meditating a Charge to my Clergy upon this very subject 
when your essay appeared." To show the identity of his 
views with those of the essay, the Bishop then kindly fur- 
nished me with copious extracts from a Sermon which he had 
frequently preached, in and out of his diocese. Large por- 

*The late Rev. Dr. Daniel Burrhans, of venerable memory, took the warmest 
interest in the effort of the Author to reinstate this great principle of the Gospel 
in its proper place in the estimation of Churchmen. At the age of 88 he com- 
menced a correspondence with me on the subject, which was continued occa- 
sionally until his death. In one of these letters he says, referring to Dr. Jarvis : 
" That my late and venerable friend, of sacred memory, should set his seal, in the 
hour of death, to the truth of the Divine Life in man, I consider altogether 
Providential, and designed to disperse the intervening clouds that have obscured 
the Light of Lights. It is a truth that must and will prevail, to the sending 
oack Calvinism to the shades of Mauicheeism, from which Austin introduced it 
\n his dispute with Pelagius." 

This doctrine was powerfully expressed by the lamented Flavel Mines, in 
describing his own escape from darkness to light. 


dons of this Sermon have been furnished to the public on 
several occasions. A very few passages will suffice for our 
present purpose: i: To be cut off from all communion with 
God, the source of all goodness and happiness, is, to an 
immortal spirit, death, in the most awful meaning of the 

After -speaking of the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ 
as the means of our restoration, he adds: 

"And now, the very first blessing which results from this 
arrangement (the redemption in Christ Jesus) is, the restora- 
tion of man's spiritual capacity. There is that in him, the 
gift of God in Christ, which enables him to perceive, and 
perceiving, to love and venerate the perfections of God — 
which enables him to discern between good and evil — which 
qualifies him to receive instruction, and when instructed, and 
according to the measure of instruction, to determine in his 
own mind, at the instant of performing any action, whether 
he is doing right or wrong. This, by some, is called tho 
Moral Sense; by others, Conscience; by Solomon, 'the can- 
dle of the Lord.' By whatever name you call it, it is that 
restoration of a spiritual capacity, by which the moral char- 
acter of man is made susceptible of improvement, and it is 
the free, unmerited gift of God in Christ to man — to all 
mankind — to every human being endowed with a rational 
soul ; and in this subordinate sense all men may be said to bt, 
regenerate. For thus argues the Apostle : ' By the righteous- 
ness of one, (that is Christ,) the free gift came upon all men 
unto justification of life.' He c is the true light that lighteth 
every man that cometh into the world.' . . . And 
now, as the next step in the arrangement of Divine Wisdom 
for our recovery, we are to consider what purpose the Church 
answers for this end. You are to remember that the nature 
of man is yet sinful — his nature must be changed and made 


holy, otherwise the first step for his restoration avails him 

He then refers to the office of Baptism: 

"Here, first of all, an acknowledgement is publicly made 
of the interest which the child has in the salvation of Christ. 
Next the seal of the covenant giving assurance of that in- 
terest is affixed; and lastly, the benefit of this relationship 
is declared by the words, that the 'child is regenerate and 
grafted into the body of Christ's Church.' " ... "Regen- 
erate, not in the subordinate sense of which we spoke before, 
as applicable to all mankind in the restoration of their spirit- 
ual capacity by the undertaking of Christ, but regenerate as 
having received (more) grace in Baptism to exert an influ- 
ence upon its moral character — as partaking (in larger meas- 
ure) of that Holy Spirit which animates the Church as the 
soul does the natural body — as being placed in a state in 
which all needful helps are assured to it, to perfect holiness 
in the fear of God — where it may be guarded and protected 
from all the enemies of its peace, or strengthened against 
their assaults, and preserved to God's heavenly and eternal 
kingdom. Hence we say that the child or person baptized 
is translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom 
of God's dear Son: and this change of state we denominate 
Regeneration. The term is used analogically, from the re- 
semblances between the circumstances of the natural and 
spiritual birth." 

The Bishop then traces the analogy between the natural 
and spiritual birth even more minutely than it has been 
already done in this work. The Bishop, in his letter, adds : 

"The foregoing will suffice to show that we at least are 
perfectly agreed as to our views of this deeply interesting 
subject. Without these views I confess my inability to meet 
the Anabaptist in argument and defend infant Baptism 


Under any other aspect of the whole subject I see no i how 
from babes we are to attain the stature of men in Christ 
Jesus. There is one other analogy used by the Apostle upon 
the subject, very striking, which, if I mistake not, utterly 
overthrows both the opposing views of the Romanists and 
Calvinists. It is that of the graft. Now if the graft be 
dead, in vain may you attach it to the stock. It must have 
some life. And so the germ or principle of spiritual life 
must exist in the soul — planted there by God — before the 
dew of Divine Grace can impart its fructifying influence." 

A living Prelate, another pupil of the great Ravenscroft, 
has expressed the same view, in a published sermon, in the 
most powerful and graphic form. And I might multiply 
these testimonies almost indefinitely. Enough have been 
given to prove that in this reconciliation of Christian doctrine 
with moral science and with human consciousness I have 
been guilty of no "private interpretation," but that this 
teaching is catholic in the truest and highest sense of the word. 

The term, Divine Life, in contradistinction to corrupt 
nature, is employed to express the spiritual capacity, imparted 
to every man, to know and to do good, in precise conformity 
to the term new birth, applied by our Savior and by the 
Church to Baptism. This use of the term Divine Life, in 
this connection, is necessary, in order to illustrate the mean- 
ing and to exhibit the force of the solemn assertion thus 
made by our blessed Lord, and repeated ever since by His 

Both these terms are almost indissolubly associated in the 
minds of many persons with other important truths as their 
legitimate expression. And words become sacred in their 
habitual association, and, as Bishop Browne observes, "we 
almost as readily part with a truth as with the word by which 
we have known that truth." 


The misappropriation of these terms in the popular theol- 
ogy is another of the sad legacies which Protestantism has 
received from Romish error. For many ages the Church 
used the language of our Lord in its proper meaning, as one 
expression of the fundamental fact, that the Church of God 
is an essential part of the revealed way of salvation. But 
when Regeneration — the new birth in Baptism — came to be 
represented by the schoolmen as an infused grace, making 
the recipient pure, sinless, and holy, the continental Reform- 
ers, instead of returning to primitive usage, retained one-half 
of this Romish corruption and repudiated the rest. They 
continued to associate the terms Divine Life, Spiritual Life, 
Regeneration, and New Birth, with a highly exalted state of 
the moral affections, and dissevered them altogether from 
their original connection with Baptism. The result of this 
change was soon seen. Baptism became, in popular regard, 
a mere formal ceremony, of little or no value, and the King- 
dom of God was utterly ignored as any part of the revealed 
way of salvation. The bitter fruits of this theology are but 
too apparent. 

As long as we continue to use these words in the exclusive 
sense given to them by the popular theology, our minds will 
be more or less confused and bewildered in the mazes of that 
theology ; and still more distracted by a different use of the 
same terms in the Scriptures, in the formularies of the Church, 
and in all Christian antiquity. Far better will it be to return 
habitually to that primitive use, and then express the truths 
which have been erroneously associated with these terms by 
their appropriate terms, as conversion, renewal, renovation, 
sanctification, growth in grace, Christian progress, holiness, 
righteousness, and such like. 

Those indeed who adhere to the phraseology which sepa- 
rates the new birth altogether from Baptism, and identifies it 


with the conscious conversion of the adult subject, can not 
be reconciled to any other use of the related terms, Divine 
or Spiritual life. But all who accept the term new birth 
to express the meaning given to it by our Savior and by the 
Church, will see that the use of this term to signify the in- 
troduction of a redeemed child of God into the kingdom of 
God by Baptism, requires, for the sake of congruity, that 
the corresponding and precedent truth — the quickening power 
of the Holy Ghost previous to Baptism — should be expressed 
by the related term, Divine Life, or Spiritual Life: and they 
will find no difficulty in adjusting all the views they have 
been accustomed to entertain of the life of God in the boiu 
of man to this Scriptural phraseology. 




Heretofore I have described the beginning of the way 
nf salvation without using that important but much abused 
expression, Justification by Faith. This omission has been 
intentional ; because the phrase has been so tortured and mis- 
applied that the use of it is calculated to produce confusion, 
rather than clearness of conception, in the minds of those 
who are trying to escape from the mist and darkness of much 
of the popular theology of our day. But having stated now. 
in other Scriptural language, what a man must first do to be 
saved, and distinguished that truth from some prevalent 
errors, my readers will be better prepared to appreciate the 
true meaning and force of this expression. It is important 
that the phrase should be understood ; for it conveys a great 
truth, and is continually recurring in the Bible and in Chris- 
tian theology. 

Justification by faith only is often used by St. Paul in 
emphatic condemnation of that heathen corruption of religion 
which the Jews had imitated, and which was therefore almost 
universal. This corruption consisted in the conversion of 
the typical sacrifices, which foreshadowed the "Lamb of Ood 
that takethaway the sin of the world," into a real propitiation 
and satisfaction for sin ; and in attributing a meritorious effi- 
cacy, deserving of eternal life, to those imperfect works of 


goodness which men are enabled, by the guidance of the Holy 
Ghost, to perform. To this gross corruption the whole tenor 
of revealed religion is opposed. St. Paul argues against it 
with impassioned vehemence, and frequently declares that 
Justification is the free gift of God to condemned and per- 
ishing sinners; and that it can be appropriated by faith 
only: that human satisfactions, and human merit, are ideas 
utterly incongruous with the actual relations between God 
and man. 

But this corruption of religion springs from the deep-seated 
pride of the human heart, and is therefore constantly recur- 
ring. We have seen how prominent a platfe it occupies in 
the Romish system of Divinity. It pervades and characterizes 
every part of the new religion which, by that communion, 
has been built upon the old Christian foundation. The He- 
formers, therefore, were bound to protest most earnestly and 
vehemently against the prevalent and gross corruption of 
their own time. Thus the doctrine of Justification by faith 
only became the watch-word of the Reformation, and the 
sharpest weapon of offense against the heathenish abomina- 
tions of the new religion. This naturally led to the use of 
this expression in after times, by many persons, as a mere 
party phrase, with little understanding of its real meaning, 
or of the corruption of religion to which it was opposed. 
One thing that has contributed to keep these persons forever 
reasoning in a vicious circle about the doctrine of Justifica- 
tion, is the fact that this word is employed in several distinct 
senses in the Bible. Without looking to the context to see, 
in each instance of its use, what is the precise meaning in- 
tended to be conveyed, the right meaning in one place is 
arbitrarily fixed upon, and all other passages of Scripture in 
which the word occurs must be tortured to bring out that 

6ame meaning. Precisely the same process is applied to the 


other figurative terms of the Bible, leading in every case to 
like confusion and indefiniteness. As it is not probable that 
this abuse of Scriptural language will ever cease, and as 
different men will fix upon different meanings of Justifica- 
tion as the exclusive one, variant theories of Justification 
may always be expected. It will help us to a clear un- 
derstanding of this subject to consider these different mean- 

Justification and its equivalent terms are indifferently 
applied in the Bible to three distinct classes of persons. 

1. They are used to express the great act of redemption 
which was wrought for all humanity, and which entitles hu- 
man nature to that gift of God — the Holy Spirit — from 
whose power alone every man derives a capacity for salvation. 
For, as the 10th Article says, no man can "turn and prepare 
himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith 
and calling upon God." "We are bought with a price," 
"justified freely by His grace," describes the glorious work 
of Christ, performed freely for all mankind, without any 
knowledge or co-operation on their part. Man is bought, 
indeed, with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He is 
bought out of slavery, redeemed from the bondage of sin 
and death into the liberty of the children of God. By this 
purchase only does man re-acquire the freedom to choose 
between good and evil, between life and death. To this 
effect are such expressions as the following: "For as in Adam 
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." "The first 
man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made 
a quickening spirit." (1 Cor. xv, 22, 45.) "God com- 
mendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sin- 
ners Christ died for us. Much more, then, being now justified 
by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by 


the death of His Son ; much more, being reconciled, we shall 
be saved by His life." (Rom. v, 8, 9, 10.) 

In the last cited passage the words "justified" and "rec- 
onciled" are used convertibly to express the universal atone- 
ment; and this atonement is urged to prove that Christ will 
continue to be sufficient for those who trust in Him. The 
18th verse of the same chapter is still more direct. "There- 
fore as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men 
to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the 
free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." "God 
was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imput- 
ing their trespasses unto them." (2 Cor. v, 19.) And upon 
this foundation the Apostle beseeches the Corinthians "to 
receive not the grace of God in vain," saying, "Behold now 
is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation." 
(2 Cor. vi, 1, 2.) Upon this same foundation must every 
minister of the Gospel base the like exhortations to men. 

The effect here expressed, not only by the word Justifica- 
tion, but by other kindred forms of speech, may be called, 
for the sake of distinction, the first Justification. With this 
man has had, and can have had, nothing to do. Faith here 
has no operation. It has been done for man entirely without 
his assent or consciousness — of the free mercy of God — free 
and universal as the act of creation. 

2. There is a frequent application in the Holy Scriptures 
of the term Justification to a second class of subjects. For 
as the Justification already spoken of bestowed on man the 
supernatural power to work together with his Maker for his 
own salvation, so the very first, and altogether indispensable 
exercise of that granted power, must be faith in the reality 
and sufficiency of the provision made for salvation. This 
second Justification is offered to men upon condition that 
they accept it, and become parties to the covenant of grace, 


of which it is an essential feature. Faith, therefore, not by any 
arbitrary appointment, but in the nature of things, is a neces- 
sary prerequisite in man, to enable him to become a party to 
this covenant. When we hear the glorious Gospel of the 
Son of God, and, with conscious mind, believe and trust in 
the way of life which it reveals, expressing our faith in the 
instituted Sacrament appointed for that purpose, then our 
formal adoption into the family of God, our admission, as His 
recognized children, to the unrestricted use of ail the means 
of salvation, is called Justification. 

This is Justification by faith only. "Therefore, being 
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this 
grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of 
God." (Horn, v, 1, 2.) Here man begins to concur with God 
in the matter of salvation. Faith had no part in the first 
mentioned Justification. But here it is essential, and it is, in 
one sense, alone. It is the only grace that is here required, 
or that can be exercised, in the very act of appropriating the 
merits of Christ. Faith is here the hand put forth to take 
the mercy that God vouchsafes. All personal merit is here 
disowned and worthless. Our sins and our ruin alone brought 
a compassionate Savior from the skies, to take upon Him our 
nature, that He might rescue it from pollution and sanctify it 
to God. A contrite sense of this our sin and utter ruin, is 
the only plea with which we can come before the Mercy Seat 
to receive the grace of pardon and adoption. The offer of 
any thing else — the tender of any righteousness of our own 
would be vain, impertinent, and presumptuous. It is this 
Justification by faith only which stands in direct antagonism 
to the heathen and Romish corruption of religion, that pre- 
sumed to bring human merits and human satisfactions into 
the rc^tions between a merciful God and pardoned sinners 


In describing the instrumentality of faith in justifying the 
ungodly, I have passed by that most trifling of modern dis- 
putes, which attempts to get up an opposition between faith 
and its external expression in the Sacrament of faith. Bap- 
tism is the consummation, the completion of the act of faith. 
It is so appointed because man is composed of soul and body 
and both must concur in all his actions to give them com- 
pleteness and integrity. It has been seen that Justification 
is one of the terms of the covenant of grace. How must 
men become parties to that covenant? Almighty God has 
dealt with man, in this regard, according to his nature. In 
every covenant the interior consent of the mind of the parties 
is the principal thing. But in every covenant that which 
gives efficiency to the interior assent, is the external and 
appointed expression of it. So deceitful is the heart of man, 
so rapid, fleeting, and evanescent are the operations of his 
mind, that, until his purposes are made palpable, and re- 
duced to some corporeal, form and expression, he himself 
cannot be sure of their nature and efficacy ; and they are, 
in fact, inchoate and imperfect. So we determine, in regard 
to one another, in all the relations of life. So our Heavenly 
Father has determined for us, in regard to the various parts 
of the dispensation of grace. He requires the outward ex- 
pression of the inward thought of the heart. Where, indeed, 
that outward expression cannot be made, the Just One will 
not require it. But where the opportunity of such expres- 
sion is afforded He does require it, and it is for our benefit 
that He should do so. He has so condescended to our 
nature and to our infirmity, as to enter into covenant with 
each separate person, by a special and particular outward act, 

God has not deemed it sufficient to make a general procla- 
mation, once for all, of His mind and will with regard to the 
salvation of the human race ; but He has chosen and ordained 


a class of men to stand forever as His representatives, and 
upon His part, and in His name, to make, seal, and ratify, 
with each man who will assent to the same, the precious cov- 
enant of grace and life in Jesus Christ. Shall man be too 
proud to meet his Maker in the like form of covenant? 
Shall he requite the condescension of God by drawing him- 
self up upon his dignity, and affirming that the interior assent 
of his mind is sufficient, and should be satisfactory to the 

This is the strange reasoning of some men. But is it not 
apparent that the outward and instituted mode of entering 
into covenant with God by Baptism never should have been 
separated from the Faith, of which it is the ordained and 
appointed expression? Baptism is not opposed to faith. It 
is the instituted expression, at once of God's pardoning mercy, 
and of the sinner's faith, humbly receiving that mercy. So 
it is treated every where in the Holy Bible. So it was re- 
garded in the Holy Church throughout all the world, untii 
a querulous disposition and a transcendental philosophy 
began to corrupt this part of Christianity, and to sever the 
things which God had bound together. St. Paul could • not 
make this separation. He says, " For ye are all the children 
of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as 
have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 
iii, 26, 27.) Here Baptism and Faith are used as synony- 
mous. They are different parts of one whole, and the word 
which expresses either part is used for the whole. And in 
this short, emphatic passage, each word is employed con- 
vertibly to designate the whole effect expressed by both; 

3. There is a third legitimate application of this word 
Justification and its equivalents to yet another class of per- 
sons. It is to those who, having been justified by faith only, 
and received into God's family, go on to "lead the rest of 


their lives according to this beginning." Or, if by any in- 
vincible obstacle some have been debarred from the instituted 
expression of their faith in Baptism, they at least strive to 
concur with the members of the household of faith in all 
things possible to them. All who faithfully endeavor to con- 
form their hearts and lives to the principles and rules of the 
Gospel, using diligently all accessible means of grace and 
growth, seeking continually for more and more of the Holy 
Spirit as the power of God unto salvation, gradually put on 
holiness. Mortifying all their evil and corrupt affections, 
and daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living, 
they grow in grace, follow the example of their Savior Christ, 
and are made like unto Him. When these faithful souls come 
to appear before the bar of God they will be justified, because 
they have done the works of God ; because they have im- 
proved the talent intrusted to them ; because they have on the 
wedding garment of purity and love ; because they are truly 
re-instated, by the operation of His Spirit, in the image of 
their Savior, the perfect Man. 




The most profound mystery of natural religion is the ap- 
parent opposition between the omnipotence of God, deter- 
.., ~ _. mining all things, and the freedom of man. 

gl. Divine De- ° ° ' 

ckees and Hu- This is a mystery of our being, and it presents 
itself as strongly to the simplest as to the 
most cultivated minds. It is a difficulty which occurs in our 
earliest conceptions of human nature, and remains in all its 
force to the latest moment of our lives. The minds of chil- 
dren are always confounded by this mystery; for it is pre- 
sented to them as vividly as to the philosopher. No solution 
of this problem is possible to our present faculties. It is a 
mystery; and it must remain so until the powers of man are 
enlarged in a higher state of being. 

But the mind of man is impatient of mystery. That 
spirit of inquiry, beneficently bestowed to enable man first to 
comprehend and then to control the hidden forces and capac- 
ities of nature, leaves its appropriate field of operation, and 
adventures here upon that mystery of Divine and human 
concurrence, where knowledge is unattainable, and where all 
human perspicacity is at fault. 

Some minds, morbidly intent upon this inscrutable mystery, 
and unwilling meekly to acquiesce in an ignorance which is 
inevitable, become shattered and crazed in their earnest 


struggles to see light where God has not said that there should 
be light. Other minds, more superficial, but equally impa- 
tient of this Divine mystery, think that they have found a 
solution of it, and a final determination of the whole matter, 
when they make one of these truths override and destroy the 
other: when they make the Omnipotence of God, not to co- 
exist with, but to take the place of the freedom of man, by 
resolving all human actions into the decree of the Almighty. 
This is no solution of the mystery, although intended to be 
so. It is simply the denial of the existence of any mystery. 
It is an entire leaving out of one of the terms of the prob- 
lem. It is a subversion of a first truth of our being. In- 
stead of a deep philosophy, as it calls itself, it is but a 
specimen of the facility with which men can be put off with 
a show of reason, in place of reason itself. This is the way 
in which whole nations, and many hard and seemingly pro- 
found philosophies and systems of religious metaphysics, 
have disposed of this mystery. 

This pretended solution of an insuperable problem has 
exercised the most pernicious influence upon vast multitudes 
of people in our own country. It is a difficulty which is 
presented with equal force to all minds. The easiest way of 
getting rid of it is to acquiesce in that delusive determination 
which makes it no difficulty at all, and at the same time takes 
away from human nature the oppressive sense of responsi- 
bility, by resolving all events into the predestination of the 
Most High. Many persons are actually presenting this 
vain speculation as an excuse to themselves for the neglect 
of the plainest and simplest duties of religion. 

The common use which is made of this pernicious philoso- 
phy is a sort of half conscious resting upon one or both of 
these fancies. 1. That blind and undistinguishing trust in 
the mercy of God, which takes it for granted that he will 


not arbitrarily determine other than an easy and tolerable 
condition to the creatures He has made, and over whose des- 
tiny he exercises unlimited control. 2. That if God should 
intend our condemnation, we at least would be consoled bv 
the thought that the result was one which we could not avoid. 
These fancies might be correct enough if they were at all 
applicable to our case. Revealed religion shows that they 
have no sort of application to human condition or destiny. 

The way in which revealed religion deals 

§2. The Gospel j g 

does not entek- with this deep mystery presents another beau- 
tain, much less tiful instance f that analogy between the 

Decide, this nj 

Problem of na- Word and the works of God, which shows the 
identity of their origin. Nature offers no so- 
lution of the problem. But every man of sound mind is 
compelled, by his moral constitution, to lay the problem 
aside, and to act, in all the practical conduct of life, as if 
there were no such mystery. The most determined fatalist 
takes care of his own life, of his own health, of his own 
well-being in every respect, just as if he had never heard or 
dreamed of a Divine decree. The ordinary course of nature 
and the constitution of the human mind absolutely require 
that every man should ignore the imagined existence of any 
compulsory Divine influence over his actions. This is one 
revelation of God's will in regard to our practical entertain- 
ment of this mystery. 

The Gospel is another revelation of the will of God in 
regard to the practical conduct of human life. Like the 
natural revelation, it says nothing about the mystery involved 
in the co-existence of Divine predestination and human free 
dom. It leaves that mystery untouched and unconsidered, 
and simply points every man to his duty, assuming for him a 
power to perform it. The whole Christian dispensation is 
founded upon the postulate of human freedom, just as the 


whole course of the world, in the Providential government of 
man, is founded upon the same postulate. 

Christian religion assumes in every man a will, enslaved 
indeed by nature, but made free by the inspiration of the 
Most High, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 
and which may now, therefore, turn to good as well as to evil. 
It recognizes the natural impotence of man to keep the moral 
law. But revealed religion is a plan of intervention between 
the Divine law and our impotence. It is an elaborate system 
of means skillfully and wonderfully adapted to our enfeebled 
and depraved condition ; designed to remedy the evils, and to 
remove the corruption of that natural condition, and to restore 
man to the capacity of obeying perfectly, in the strength of 
Christ his Savior, the law of life and happiness. 

The most striking representation of this meaning of Divine 
Revelation is conveyed to us in those numerous parables by 
which our Lord illustrated the nature of His kingdom of 
grace. They all announce and confirm the same great truth; 
but that truth is perhaps most clearly and emphatically ex- 
pressed in the parable of the talents. The wicked and 
slothful servant in this parable probably represents the very 
class of persons who allege the Divine predestination as a 
reason why they should do nothing in the work of their own 
salvation. These people say that they can not fear, and love, 
and trust in God, as the Divine law requires, and therefore 
they think it will be unjust for God to condemn them for not 
doing those things which He gave them no power to do, and 
which had been already fixed by His predetermination. The 
parables referred to very plainly expose the futility of this 
objection, by showing that the things in regard to which we 
allege a want of power, are not the things for which we shall 
be judged at all. 

Christian religion is the revelation of Divinely efficacious 


means and instrumentalities for the removal of human in- 
firmity, for the cure of human corruption, for the recovery 
of an apostate creature to the favor and likeness of his Cre- 
ator. The means and instrumentalities thus offered to us by 
revealed religion are the talents bestowed upon every man to 
whom this religion is proposed. When we come to give an 
account of ourselves to God, the question will not be, whether 
we have kept the whole law? but, how have we employed the 
talent absolutely given to us? How have we acted in regard 
to those things which were clearly within our power? There 
will be no place for controversy about Divine predestination 
or human infirmity. For the only question will be as to the 
employment of means over which we have the same control 
as we have of our daily locomotion. We will not be asked 
whether we love God with all our hearts; but whether we 
have been accustomed to kneel down to pray to Him for His 
grace; whether we have obediently submitted ourselves to 
the teachings and strivings of God's Holy Spirit, which has 
so often urged us to consider our ways, to repent us of our 
sins, and to come, through Jesus Christ the Savior, to the 
throne of grace for pardon and acceptance. 

The opportunity and the power to do these things are the 
talents for which we will be called upon to give an account. 
These talents have been given. They are certainly, by our 
own undoubted consciousness, as entirely under our unlimited 
control as are the movements of the hand and arm. To go 
to church is as much within our power as to stay at home or 
to walk about the streets. To kneel down and pray to God in 
His house is as certainly within our control as, indolently 
and irreverently, to retain our seats during the time of prayer. 
It is clearly by a determination of our own will whether, at 
lying down to rest or rising up to labor, we will recognize 
our consciousness of a God, and humbly commit ourselves to 


Him, or whether we will be as the Atheist, who knows no 
God. These are the things, in regard to which we will be 
Questioned; and it will be vain and impertinent, upon such 
an arraignment, to allege our opinions about the Divine 
decrees, or to complain of the imagined hardship of the 
Divine government. The slothful servant in the parable 
tried this evasion : but out of his own mouth his Lord con- 
demned him. He was only inquired of as to the talent that 
had been given to him. In his very plea he confessed to the 
fullness of his power over that talent. He had hid the talent 
in the earth, of his own will, contrary to the interest and in- 
tention of his Lord. The same will, rightly exercised, would 
have put out that money to the usurers, for the benefit of his 
Master. So, our refusal to use the means of grace is, itself, 
evidence enough that we had the power to use them. 

The Universe is composed of minute and insignificant 
atoms. The mightiest results are made dependent upon the 
concurrence of the most trifling causes. So it is in nature. 
And so in Grace. The Savior of the world has opened for 
man a way of access to heaven, to happiness, and to God, 
which consists of successive steps on our part, each of them 
minute, and of little seeming consequence. Each of these 
steps, in its order, is placed entirely, and beyond all question, 
within our own power, and subject to our free and unre- 
strained action. The power to take the first, and any succes- 
sive one of these steps, is the talent given to us. No person 
in the world ever entertained a doubt about his absolute con- 
trol over the doing or the leaving; undone the-e little things. 
The consciousness of every man has assured him of his un- 
qualified freedom in these particulars, with a certainty which 
all the reasonings in the world cannot confute. Instead of 
employing the talent certainly committed to us, we fix our 
attention upon the great results of the Christian life — love, 


holiness, purity — and say that we cannot accomplish these 
great things, that God has predetermined these mighty re- 
sults. But the Judge before whom we are to appear will not 
institute the slightest inquiry about those things, in relation 
to which we ever alleged a want of power to compass them. 
The only account demanded of us is, in regard to our per- 
formance, or neglect, of those little and easy duties which 
were certainly within our power. The talent given to us, our 
use or abuse of that, alone will be inquired of. God's des- 
tined purpose, in appointing the varied means of grace, will 
not be required of us at all. That is His own work, and He 
will see to its accomplishment. The result of the means we 
are commanded to employ is indeed beyond our control, and 
therefore we will not be questioned at all in relation to it. 
Where we have no power there will be no accountability. 
But an account must be rendered of tho-e things over which 
our power is known, by ourselves, to be supreme. We must 
give account of our use or neglect of those means and instru- 
ments of grace which are placed as entirely within our con- 
trol as are the means and instruments of our daily calling. 
This does not authorize a merely formal and perfunctory 
employment of the means of grace, resting in them as an end. 
Although we cannot command the result of those means, 
which is God's own work, yet to use them, without reference 
to that result, is no faithful use of them at all. As moral 
beings we must work together with God in the whole busi- 
ness of salvation. And God works effectually in us, only 
when we use the means of grace, with a constant and earnest 
looking to, and striving after, the end which they are designed 
to accomplish — the sanctirication of the soul. This is the 
Christian's life work. And to this sanctirication he must bf 
continually reaching forward. This is the mark of his high 
calling, toward which he must press with earnest longing. 


There was, in our Lord's day, a Jewish doctrine of election, 
very different from the metaphysical dogma we have been 

.„ jEWISfl examining, and just as far from the- truth. 

Doctrine op This maintained the absolute and unconditional 
election of the Jews to eternal life, as the 
peculiar and favorite people of God — the circumcised mem- 
bers of His Church. Many of the parables of our Savior 
are directed against this doctrine of election. 

5 4 t b i "^ ut *- nere ' s a true doctrine of election, of 

Doctrine op which the Scriptures make frequent mention. 
There is an election, in the economy of grace, 
corresponding with that in the economy of Providence. 
Here again the two kingdoms of nature and of grace are 
alike, because they proceed from the same infinite Fountain 
of goodness and truth. This true election, in either king- 
dom, is, to privileges, to honor, to dignity, to station, and to 
responsibility commensurate with the gifts and advantages 

By the dispensation of Providence one man is elected to 
encounter the trials and temptations of wealth ; another to 
the harder estate, but not to the sorer trials and temptations, 
of poverty. The election of one man puts upon him the 
obligation to make a right use of a large fortune ; keeping 
and disbursing it in the fear and to the honor of God. The 
abuse of this trust causes rich men to be proud, .sensual, vain, 
selfish, and atheistic. The poor man, who must struggle 
through life for the means of living, is disciplined to hard- 
ness, and to a certain strength of character, apart from his 
own exertions. The abuse of his position is apt to produce 
envy, discontent, dishonesty, groveling thoughts, feelings, and 
practices. Which of these two classes of evil affections pro- 
duce the greatest degree of unhappiness it would be hard to 
Bay. Thus, in the necessary inequalities of the social scale, 


there are, as the Scripture phrases it, vessels to honor and 
to dishonor. The election of Providence determines to a 
large extent the position which each one is to occupy : but 
each place and each station has its own duties, its own re- 
sponsibilities, and its own rewards. 

So precisely in the Kingdom of Grace. The election here, 
for which God has given to His creatures no account, and no 
reason, determines whether we shall be born in a Christian 
land, of Christian parents, and placed by Baptism in the fold 
of Christ. But there is no such irrespective election to eter- 
nal life. The spirit and the letter of Divine Revelation 
assure us that eternal life is dependent upon the use which 
men make of the means of salvation accorded to them. The 
election is, to the possession and enjoyment of more or less 
of the instituted means of salvation. It is an election to 
privileges, to honor, and to responsibility. And that which 
ultimately equalizes this distribution of the Divine favor, and 
vindicates His government as without partiality, is the prin- 
ciple, that unto whom much is given of him only will much 
be required ; that the possessor of five talents must render a 
just account of each one of the five and of its increase; 
while the man with one talent will only be held accountable 
for that one and its reasonable increase. Many of the para- 
bles, as we have seen, illustrate the principle, that the use 
which men make of the privileges to which they are elected, 
and not the extent or value of those privileges, will be the 
measure of their reward. 

The Jewish doctrine of election has been reproduced in 
the Christian Church, and may always be expected, because 
it springs from one of the most powerful tendencies of the 
natural heart. This is the tendency to seize upon externals, 
rest in them, and worship them. It displays itself univer- 
sally. The rich man fastens his affections upon his wealth, 


regards it as an end — the great end of human life — and not 
merely as the means of doing good. He looks upon him- 
self, not as the steward and trustee of this wealth, but as its 
sovereign owner, unaccountable to any power in heaven or in 
earth for its employment. And he very often magnifies him- 
self, and worships himself, as a God, by reason of his uncon- 
trolled possession of this instrument of power. 

So again in the kingdom of Grace. Men look upon their 
privileges, their election to honor and responsibility, as an 
end, rest in that supposed end, and magnify themselves for 
these privileges, forgetful of the only purpose of them. This 
is in truth to destroy the whole character and value of the 
means of Grace. Their character and value consist in the 
iact that they are means, instruments, of Grace. They are 
the agencies by which God's Holy Spirit works in us and 
with us, to recreate us in the Divine image. To divorce this 
purpose, this end of these appointments, from the means of 
Grace, resting in them as an end, is to annul their virtue and 

Christian people are "elect through sanctification of the 
Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus 
Christ." (1 St. Peter i, 2.) Their election is "unto obe- 
dience," and that application to their souls of the blood of 
Christ, by which God has been reconciled to them, vouchsafed 
to them the pardon of all their sins, and adopted them into 
His family as His dear children. This election "unto obe- 
dience" places its subject in a condition to heed the exhorta- 
tion of the Apostle: "Work out your own salvation with fear 
and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to 
will and to do of His good pleasure " (Phil, ii, 12-13.) 

God works in us, but He works in us as intelligent crea- 
tures, who must work together with Him for the accomplish- 
ment of the same glorious end. That end is to make us 


u new creatures in Christ Jesus," by "mortifying and killing 
all vices in us," by subduing every unholy affection, and re- 
instating us in the image of Christ our Savior. To leave out 
of view this end of Christian life, not to reach continually 
forward toward the attainment of that end, to be satisfied 
with a mere perfunctory performance of the routine of ex- 
ternal religious acts, is to degrade religion to a sort of mech- 
anism, and fatally deceive the souls of all who are guilty of 
this desecration. This resting in the form of Godliness, 
while regardless of its power, is a most obstinate as well as a 
general disease. It is hard to remove, because it is so con- 
genial to the heart of man. It satisfies the mere religious 
instinct, and puts a quietus upon the conscience, while it 
leaves the passions to sjek their gratification in unrestrained 





The subject last considered forms an appropriate intro- 
duction to that view of Christian progress which must now 
be presented. In Baptism every child is taught to say, that 
he "was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an 
inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." They were made 
members of Christ, because they were, by Baptism, incor- 
porated into " the Church, which is His body, the fullness of 
Him that filleth all in all." (Ephes. i, 22, 23.) The mem- 
bers of Christ are necessarily, by virtue of that relation, the 
children of God; "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, 
and joint-heirs with Christ." (Bom. viii, 17.) 

I shall not attempt a formal refutation of that pernicious 
and destructive heresy which denies the seal of God's cove- 
nant of love and mercy to the most precious subjects of that 
covenant — the dear children for whom Christ died. The 
word heresy is advisedly applied to this corruption of re- 
ligion, because it directly contradicts and annuls, in regard to 
more than one-half of the subjects of redemption, that article 
of the Christian Creed which teaches us to " believe in one 
Baptism for the remission of sins." 

It is true that God, of His infinite goodness, does not tie 
His mercy to His sacraments ; and so, the children of His 


love, dying in infancy, are saved by the blood of Christ, 
notwithstanding the folly of those natural guardians who 
withheld from them the blessed sign and seal of this saving 
mercy. But God does tie us to His appointments ; and 
thus to set aside the most solemn of those appointments can 
only be excused upon the ground of invincible ignorance. 
The plea that the child may be saved without Baptism is 
but a limited application of the Quaker argument, which 
puts away the Sacraments entirely, and of the Infidel 
ai'gument, which dispenses with the whole Christian rev- 
elation. God, by His Spirit, can cleanse the soul, says 
the Quaker, without these external agencies. God can be 
merciful, says the Infidel, without the instrumentality of a 
Christ, or of a revealed religion. 

Tf God has appointed " one baptism for the remission of 
sins," original and actual, Christians have no alternative 
but to apply that Sacrament to all the subjects of redemp- 
tion who are capable of it. Now, as we have seen, Baptism 
is the seal of the forgiveness of sins, and the actual adop- 
tion of the baptized into the family of God. Children are 
not only capable of receiving these benefits, but they are 
the best and fittest subjects of them. They are capable 
of receiving the inestimable benefit of adoption or new 
birth into God's family, just as they were capable of birth 
into an earthly family ; because the common object of the 
first and of the second birth is, that the children may re- 
ceive that tender nurture which is necessary to their well 
being. And young children are the fittest subjects of the 
new birth, because the nurture thereby secured to them 
will be much more effectual to its destined purpose, the 
formation of a Christ-like character, than the same nurture 
applied to the adult subject, whose habits and affections 
are fixed in enmity to God and goodness. 


In the kingdoms of nature and of grace alike parents and 
children are bound together by the strongest and tenderest 
ties. As parents give to their children a sinful nature, so 
every child of man has been born under the covenant of 
grace in Christ Jesus. And during the earliest Patriarchal 
dispensation, the first-born of every family was, by that mere 
primogeniture, consecrated to the Priesthood. (Numbers iii.) 

When it pleased God, in His infinite wisdom, to restrict 
the visible Church to a single family and nation, the Sacra- 
ment of initiation into that Church was specially appointed 
to be administered on the eighth day after birth. And the 
Sacrament then to be administered is emphatically called in 
the New Testament " the seal of the righteousness of faith." 
The Apostle tells us that the Gospel was preached " unto 
Abraham, saying : In thee shall all nations be blessed." 

" That the blessing of Abraham might come 

on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ." (Gal. iii, 7, et seq.) 

Now, one part of the blessing of Abraham, to which we 
are heirs, was to have his children visibly and sacramentally 
united with him in the covenant of redemption. By what 
enactment of Christ was this precious part of the blessing of 
Abraham taken away from us, his. Gentile children ? How 
and when were we disinherited as to that blessing ? For 
many ages the children of Abraham enjoyed the inheritance 
in full as one nation. 

When our Savior came to fulfill the promise to Abraham 
in its fullest extent, " In thee shall all nations be blessed," 
He uses in the great Charter of the kingdom the very terms 
of the promise : " Go ye, therefore, and disciple all na- 
tions, baptizing them." 

It is strange that any one, with this Charter before him, 
should ask for an express command to baptize mfants. The 
command here is just as express as language can make it. 


The command is precisely the same for infants as for men 
and women. The word nation includes them all alike, and 
the command applies with the same force to each one of 
these essential constituents of a nation. That the Apostles 
and their successors for fifteen hundred years so understood 
the commission, is certain ; for in all that time the Christian 
people continued to use and enjoy this portion of their in- 
heritance, " the blessing of Abraham," without question, by 
the baptism of their children with themselves into the fel- 
lowship of Christ's body. 

Suppose it had been otherwise, and that the Apostles had 
so grossly misunderstood the commission of their Lord as to 
exclude the children from His earthly kingdom, and to 
refuse to them the seal of adoption and favor. The New 
Testament tells us how bitter and relentless were the Jews in 
their opposition to the infant Church. Besides this, it in- 
forms us of a jealous and active party of Judaisers in the 
Church itself, urgently insisting upon the requirements of the 
ancient law. Now, if the Apostles had been guilty of an 
innovation so great, and shocking alike to natural feeling and 
to the religious convictions fostered by their whole national 
history, as, for the first time in the economy of redemption, 
to exclude the children of believers from the kingdom of 
grace, what excitement, what clamor, what stern conflict, 
would the innovation have occasioned ! The hostile Jews 
would have used this strange and unnatural feature of the 
" Galilean heresy " as the most potent weapon with which to 
overthrow it. In the Church itself innumerable complaints 
and questions would have arisen out of the same novelty. 
The New Testament, and early ecclesiastical history, would 
have been burdened with the discussions necessary for the 
settlement of this vital point. We fiud them full of ques- 
tions about the terms of social intercourse between Jewish 


and Gentile converts, about days, and meats, the eating 
of blood and things strangled, but not a whisper about the 
exclusion of children from the kingdom. 

Is not this silence of Scripture upon such a subject the 
strongest practical demonstration that such exclusion was 
never known or thought of in the Christian Church, until 
in the twelfth century one Peter de Bruis, a crazy fanatic, 
held that those who died in infancy could not be saved, and 
therefore ought not to be baptized ? 

Even if it were possible to suppose that the exclusion of 
children from the kingdom of God could have been effected, 
without the slightest intimation of such a change in the 
writings of the Apostles, and in early ecclesiastical history, 
how are we to account for the unanimous return to the an- 
cient economy of that kingdom, by the sacramental admis- 
sion of the infant heirs of salvation to the fellowship of 
the kingdom, without controversy, and without objection ? 
When "infant sprinkling," as they classically call the bap- 
tism of children, first commenced, where were the Baptist 
preachers to sound the alarm, and fill the world with their 
indignant remonstrances ? Ecclesiastical history, the whole 
range of Christian literature, give no sign. Such a class 
of people as Baptist preachers had never been heard of 
for fifteen hundred years after Christ. The men and their 
notions arose together, at Munster, in Germany, as a part 
of the froth from the seething caldron of excitement and 
frenzy in the sixteenth century. 

The other fancy about Baptism, which originated with the 
same parties, that it can only be administered by putting the 
whole body under the water, is sufficiently disposed of by a 
single fact. Baptism, as a ceremonial purification, was the 
daily practice of the whole Jewish people. It was ordered, 
in a vast number of instances, by the Divine law, and still 


more largely used by the people as a voluntary service. The 
Priests, ministering at the temple, were obliged to be baptized 
twice every day ; and the people, on every return from the 
market, or other place of concourse, where they might have 
contracted ceremonial uncleanness, baptized themselves at the 
door of their dwellings before they entered the house. Of 
this we have frequent mention in the Gospels. Not one of 
these innumerable Baptisms was by immersion. There were 
no facilities for such a practice, and the thing was both re- 
pugnant to the Divine law and unknown to the people. 
The baptism of the Priests in the temple service was 
effected by turning a cock, from which the water flowed 
upon their hands and feet. The baptisms constantly re- 
curring at private houses were performed in the same 
manner from water-pots of stone, conveniently placed for 
that purpose., (St. John ii, 1-10.) 

When, therefore, our blessed Lord, as the predicted Pu- 
rifier, who should " sprinkle many nations," (Mai. iii, 2, 3. 
Is. lii, 15. Ezek. xxxvi, 25, 26,) adopted this familiar cere- 
monial of purification, as the sacrament of initiation into His 
kingdom, He must have been understood to mean those 
modes of baptism to which the people were accustomed. 
And all the subsequent notices of baptism in the New Tes- 
tament — as of the baptism of three thousand persons in a 
few hours — correspond with this conclusion, and cannot, 
without violence, be reconciled with any other. The preva- 
lence of immersion in after ages may have arisen from the 
same feeling which led the Church at Corinth to celebrate 
the Lord's Supper by eating and drinking to surfeiting and 
drunkenness. That is, that, if water is good for purifying, 
the more we have of it the better. The application of this 
fancy in regard to one Sacrament was made in time for an 
Apostle to rebuke it. The Jewish converts in every city 


probably prevented for a long time any innovation upon the 
established mode of Baptism. That this innovation was not 
so early as is generally supposed, may be inferred from an 
expression of Eusebius, Anno 324, describing the spacious 
baptisteries, in which large classes of candidates for baptism 
were instructed. He says: "Which buildings were erected 
for those who require yet the purification and the sprinklings 
of water and the Holy Spirit." (Ecclesiastical Hist., Book 
10, ch. 4.) 

The fancy of these good but misguided people about the 
exclusive validity of one mode of baptism, is a small matter 
compared with the fatal heresy which strikes at the very 
foundation of the kingdom of God, and at the deepest 
meaning of the Gospel, by excluding from the Church those 
infant subjects of redemption, which are the Church's hope 
and her most inestimable treasure. 

To refuse the Sacrament of adoption to the children of 
God and the fellow-heirs with Christ ; to withhold the seal of 
the covenant of grace from the recipients of grace ; to deny 
the outward token of reconciliation with God to those who 
are partakers of the nature of Christ; to shut out from the 
kingdom, as strangers, aliens, and enemies, those who were 
appointed to be fellow-citizens with the saints ; to exclude 
from the family and household of God, and from the holy 
nurture and the succors of heavenly grace there provided, 
the youngest and feeblest members of the family ; to fence 
off from the fold of Christ the lambs of His flock, is a sub- 
version of the Gospel plan of salvation at its foundation — is 
a virtual surrender, as far as one false principle can go, of the 
most impressible and helpless portion of Christ's redeemed, 
to the dominion of sin, and to the power of the Devil. St. 
Paul tells us (1st Cor., x, 2) that all the Israelites were 
baptized in the cloud and in the sea ; but according to 


this theology, the children should have been left on the 
other side, to become the unresisting prey of Pharoah and 
his hosts. 

The Church which has preserved and transmitted to us 
the Holy Bible, the Sacraments of Christ's institution, the 
Ministry of His appointment, and the Faith "once delivered 
to the saints," has always joyfully complied with the com- 
mand of her Lord to "suffer the little children to come unto 
Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of 
heaven." Gladly she receives them, and earnestly she ex- 
horts the godfathers and godmothers of these heirs of sal- 
vation, diligently and faithfully to bring them up in the 
nurture and admonition of the Lord. She puts upon these 
guardians the charge, so to inform and cultivate the minds, 
and so to guide and chasten the affections of Christ's loved 
ones, that, at the appointed age of discretion, they may be 
brought, with a glad and willing mind, "to the Bishop, to be 
confirmed by him." The effect of a true Christian culture 
will be, to induce the children to offer themselves a living 
sacrifice to God, renewing in their own persons their vows of 
allegiance, and receiving anew, with new succors of heavenly 
grace, the assurance of the forgiveness of all their sins, and 
of God's fatherly love and goodness toward them. 

Christian nurture is always at first successful. I have 
never known the child who had been taught the elements of 
Christian knowledge, who was not religious — who did not 
show a tender susceptibility to the influences of religion. 
But religion is a life. And the unfailing law of all life is 
progress or decay. There is no such thing as a stationary 
point in the natural or in the spiritual life. Those who do 
not go forward will inevitably go backward. Growth or de 
cline are the only alternatives. 




The Apostolic rite of Confirmation tells the Church's 
estimate of the necessity of progress in personal religion. 
It is appointed for all who, having been born again in Holy 
Baptism, of water and of the Spirit, have arrived at the 
age of discretion, and have been growing hitherto. It thus 
marks distinctly a stage in the heavenly progress of the soul. 
It tells of the new dangers and of the increased responsi- 
bilities of the heir of salvation, in the new career which a 
new period of life ushers in. It teaches, therefore, the ne- 
cessity for higher and further helps and assistances of the 
Holy Spirit, for this new position. And it provides those 
succors of Divine Grace for the pressing exigency of the 
occasion. It warns most faithfully against the danger of 
ceasing to go forward, or of thinking to stand still. The 
folly and impossibility of this position are involved in the 
very issue then presented by the Church to her children. 
For, when the question is thus distinctly put to each one, Will 
you engage now to serve your God, or will you turn from that 
service ? Will you acknowledge your Creator and Redeemer, 
or reject Him ? — the negative answer to these inquiries ex- 
poses at once the backward and downward course which the 
soul is taking. The refusal to go forward is a deliberate 
self-devotion to go down, on that facile and slippery descent, 


which stops for a time at simple irreligion, and terminates 
at last in apostasy and reprobation. 

The Church thus presents to her younger members a 
blessed opportunity, at this crisis of the religious life, to try 
themselves, to see what manner of spirit they are of, to as- 
certain what progress they have made, and if they find them- 
selves careless and indifferent about this holy rite, and their 
soul's condition ; or if their hearts are averse to it, and to its 
solemn vows ; then they have reason to be greatly alarmed 
at their state. Their only safety is to be thus faithfully 
warned of their danger, and to fly from their impending doom, 
to the refuge set before them in the Gospel. Their dread- 
ful fate, if being warned, they will not turn, is no contin- 
gency. Their punishment is involved in their crime. If 
they will not go forward to heaven, they are assuredly going 
backwards to perdition. Progress is the law of the relig- 
ious life. That law must be obeyed, or its penalty is sure. 

Confirmation, or the '* laying on of hands," takes its place 
in beautiful symmetry in the Scriptural order of Sacraments 
and Ordinances. Baptism is the sacramental recognition of 
the whole, undivided Trinity, when the children of God are 
formally adopted into His family, and made citizens of His 
kingdom, by the invocation of His mystic and blessed Name, 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Eucharist — the Lord's 
Supper — is the special recognition and constant memorial of 
the person and work of the adorable Being designated as the 
Second in this mystic name, the eternal Son, our blessed 
Savior and Redeemer. In like manner, Confirmation specially 
witnesses and sets forth the Person, work, and office of the 
Holy Ghost, in the Divine economy of man's redemption. 
Leave out this special recognition of the Holy Ghost, and 
you see how sadly marred is the symmetry of the Divine in- 
stitutions. But the Divine care did not permit it to be left 


out. St. Paul, in that sublime epistle in which he treats of 
the deepest mysteries of religion, places this Divine institu- 
tion in the very place in the circle of Christian verities which 
it would most appropriately occupy, and which all the other 
Scriptural notices of it show that it did actually occupy — 
that is, immediately after Baptism. "Therefore," he says, 
" leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go 
on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of re- 
pentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the 
doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of res- 
urrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." (Heb. vi, 
1, 2.) That the laying on of hands in ordination is not here 
meant, is certain, from its position among the most elemen- 
tary truths common to all believers, and from the fact that 
the Ministry or Priesthood is one of those profounder mys- 
teries of the Gospel to which the body of the Epistle is 
devoted. That the doctrine of laying on of hands is an ele- 
mentary principle, compared with the doctrine of sacrifice, as 
contained in the Lord's Supper, is also shown by the elabo- 
rate exposition of that doctrine of sacrifice in this Epistle. 
In accordance with this arrangement, we find all the inci- 
dental notices of Confirmation in the brief, inspired record 
of the first planting of Christianity. Every-where it follows 
Baptism, either immediately, if an Apostle is present, or as 
soon afterwards as an Apostle visits the place where believers 
have been baptized. For, uniformly, it appears that ordinary 
ministers might baptize, but only to the Chief Ministers 
was committed the duty of performing this holy rite. And 
the Holy Ghost emphatically sealed, with the Divine sanc- 
tion, all that was th»us done, by restraining the fullness of His 
gifts until this part of the counsel of Heavenly Wisdom had 
been fully obeyed. Confirmation, like Baptism, was an 
ancient practice in God's earthly kingdom, under the former 


dispensation, adopted by our blessed Savior as a part of the 
orderly arrangement of His Church in the new dispensation. 
It is another testimony to the fact (hat such external order is 
essential to the right working of every institution which is to 
operate effectually upon mankind. In the eighth chapter of 
the Acts of the Apostles, verses 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, and 
17, we have the first account of the Christian administration 
of this solemn ordinance. In that passage we see that the 
newly ordained Deacon, St. Philip, went abroad, preaching 
the Gospel, working miracles in attestation of its power, and 
baptizing all who believed. The Holy Ghost was the neces- 
sary and efficient Agent in all this work. But He did not 
visit these converts in the plenitude of His power until the 
Apostles at Jesusalem, hearing of this success of the Gospel, 
sent some of their own number for the purpose of complet- 
ing, by an act which belonged only to their own office, that 
which had been so well begun. 

That we must interpret the expressions here, and elsewhere 
in the New Testament, in relation to the gift of the Holy 
Ghost, as referring only to that plenitude of the Spirit's 
power, and fullness of His manifestation of the truth, which 
are peculiar to the Christian dispensation, and especially con- 
nected with this Christian ordinance, is very certain. For to 
give to these expressions a more stringent meaning, and to 
consider them as affirming that the Spirit of God was now, 
for the first time, bestowed in any measure upon men, would 
make them contradict the whole tenor of the Divine Word, 
and put them into direct conflict with the faith. That faith 
teaches us that all the true piety which had ever existed in 
the world had proceeded from the inspiration of the Spirit. 
There is no canon of interpretation more important or 
necessary than this, that all the parts of a document must be 
taken together, and each part so modified by the rest that a 


proper meaning may be given to the whole. These very 
passages illustrate strongly this principle. For, without 
going beyond them to the other parts of the Word, they 
contain within themselves the necessary and intended 
limitation of the general expressions employed. According 
to the analogy of faith, the persons upon whom the Apos- 
tles laid their hands could not have exercised repentance 
and faith so as to have been proper subjects of baptism, 
without the previous gift of the Holy Ghost. We are 
absolutely compelled then to understand the gift of the 
Holy Ghost at Pentecost, and after the " Laying on of 
Hands," as a larger measure of His influences, and a more 
glorious manifestation of His power. 

There is another instructive account of this rite of Con- 
firmation in the Acts of the Aposiles, xix, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. In 
this passage, also, a mistake has been made by some intel- 
ligent persons in relation to the formula of Baptism, from 
a neglect of the canon of interpretation above mentioned. 
Because the historian tells us that these disciples of John 
the Baptist were now " baptized in. the name of the Lord 
Jesus," it has been strangely assumed that this holy name 
alone was used in the administration of this baptism. But 
this would be to suppose the Apostle, and those who were 
with him, to have violated, deliberately and wantonly, the 
very commission from which they derived their authority. 
The truth is, that St. Luke, writing for the Church and to 
Christians, who understood that faith in the Lord Jesus 
necessarily included faith in the undivided Trinity, simply 
uses this expression to let us know that Christian Baptism 
was then administered in the only authorized formula by 
which it could be administered. 

The beautiful and expressive rite of Confirmation is re- 
ligiously practiced by all the Christian people in the world, 


except a few Protestant denominations. And of the Chris- 
tian bodies who, from various causes, but principally from 
their want of the Apostolic Order of the Ministry, have 
lost this Divine institution, all of any note have expressed, 
in some form, their sense of the Divine authority of the 
ordinance, and their desire for its restoration. The Rev. 
B. Wistar Morris has published a very curious and valu- 
able little book, containing a number of these testimonies. 
Few works could be circulated, with more advantage than 
this little volume. 

If God has graciously deigned to make this and other pro- 
visions for our salvation — thus wisely adapting the plan of 
salvation to the nature of its subjects — shall we insultingly 
say, "It is unnecessary, we will obtain this salvation in some 
better way?" The Holy Spirit, given unto us, and given 
according to the established provisions of the economy of 
grace, is the sole efficient Agent of salvation. This has been 
true under every dispensation. And so the Prophet Zecha- 
riah announces, " Not by might, nor by power, but by my 
Spirit, saith the Lord." (Zech. iv, 6.) " There are diver- 
sities of gifts, but the same Spirit." And " the manifestation 
of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal," says St. 
Paul, (i Cor. xii, 4, 7.) God and man, co-workers in the 
great business of salvation, characterizes the whole media- 
torial scheme. The whole work of Christ was performed 
by the union of God. and man. The entire work of human 
renovation is performed by the union of God and man. God, 
the Holy Ghost, the efficient power in the soul ; not taking 
the place of human nature, but making that nature free, free 
as a child of God, free as the servant of truth, and aspiring 
to that perfection and happiness which God will bestow upon 
His faithful children. To accomplish this glorious result, 
man must work together with God. Man can do nothing 


here by himself. God will do nothing, beyond the first gift 
of spiritual life, without the consent and the co-operation of 
man. For the freedom to be attained is moral freedom, the 
victory to be achieved is a moral conquest, the work to be 
done is the conversion of the will and of the affections to 
God. God gives by His Spirit the power to resist evil, to 
withstand temptation, to choose and maintain the right, to 
love and follow after goodness, to be the free, cheerful, happy 
doers of His will. But men must exercise this granted 
power. They are free now by the inspiration of the Spirit. 
God does not drag His people to heaven in chains. Christ 
leads them there as the Captain of their salvation, as His 
brethren in arms. Whenever, therefore, men cease to per- 
form their part in this work, when they refuse to be led by 
the Spirit of God into all holy obedience, when they neglect 
to resort to the instituted channels of grace, when they no 
longer strive against the world, the flesh, and the Devil, then 
the work of salvation is at once arrested, growth ceases and 
decay begins. The corruption that remains in the regenerate 
is the power of an endless death, until it. is entirely removed, 
until the soul is purified from the last dregs of this infection. 
It is this fearful truth, and the natural indolence of the soul 
in all its conflicts with sin — the fatal tendency to rest satis- 
fied with present attainments — which makes it absolutely 
necessary to be pressing continually forward, and which in- 
duced the Apostle to rouse the Christians of Ephesus by the 
stirring exhortation, " Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise 
from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." (Ephes. v, 
14.) The disease of the soul is not superinduced upon pre- 
vious health, but it is congenital — born with us — and infect- 
ing every power, and faculty, and feeling. This world and 
this life are the time and opportunity of extirpating that 
disease. Jesus Christ is the great Physician who alone can 


cure. Whenever we cease to call upon Him for aid, and to 
use the prescriptions by which He works our cure, the rav- 
ages of the disease are resumed, and will terminate in the 
death that never dies. 





In the foregoing sketch of Christian progress from the 

Baptism of the infant to the Confirmation of the intelligent 

§ 1. practical believer — the young, but well trained soldier 

Evils op the f the cross — we have presented the ordinary 

Theory which 

Refers the Be- P^ an °f salvation, according to the design of 
ginning of spir- its Author. But that Divine plan is thwarted 
the period of an( ^ defeated at innumerable points by its will- 
Conversion. f u i subjects. 

That theory of religion, which refers the beginning of 
spiritual life to the Conversion of the adult believer, has 
operated with most pernicious influence upon the popular 
mind. Intimately and legitimately connected with this theory 
is the denial of Baptism to the larger part of the redeemed 
children of God — the infant portion of the race. Many of 
those who have adopted this mischievous theory of the re- 
ligious life, inconsistently retain the Sacrament of Baptism, 
according to the institution of Christ; administering it to all 
the heirs of salvation. But to baptize any person, infant or 
adult, who is destitute of spiritual life, who is not connected 
with Christ, the Source of life, is a mere form, and conse- 
quently a solemn mockery. 

The persons who thus inconsistently administer baptism to 


infants, are induced by their theory so to disparage and un- 
dervalue the sacrament, as to deprive it of all its moral 
power and influence upon the life. Baptism passes for 
nothing at all — a mere ceremony — and the error is deeply 
fixed in the public mind, that the spiritual and religious life 
is yet to be begun, and completed too, by a great change in 
the feelings and convictions of the soul, at some appreciable 
moment, after the period of childhood has passed. 

I have 6tated the fact, so irreconcilable with this malign 
theology, that young children, who receive any fair degree 
of religious instruction, are always religious. But this state 
does not last long under the ordinary culture of the society 
in which we live. The social feeling which denies a Chris- 
tian character and Christian nurture to children, quickly 
destroys this healthful state. The law of progress and its 
penalty operate with tremendous power here. The child who 
does not go forward in the Christian life, goes backward, 
until all religious sensibility is lost, and we behold the pre- 
cocious unbeliever, cold, callous, sneering, blaspheming. 
Evil example and evil companions have wrought this ruin. 
It is horrible to think of, but too true, that, sometimes, one 
or both the parents, by their own irreligious lives, have led 
their children away from God into this loathsome pit of 
darkness and death. The very power of filial reverence and 
love is used by parents to the destruction of their children. 
Thus the tradition of ungodliness descends, with increasing 
force and volume from generation to generation, until now a 
boy or young man, even if properly educated, must possess 
an unusual force of will, and heroic constancy, to be able to 
resist the current. 

In consequence of this unhappy condition of things, the 
ordinary economy of the kingdom of grace is no longer ap- 
plicable to the salvation of the great mass of the community. 


That ordinary economy is set forth in the Divine injunction: 
" Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is 
old he will not depart from it." (Prov. xxii, 6.) And in 
that Divine commendation of the Father of the Faithful: 
"For I know him, that he will command his children and 
his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the 
Lord, to do justice and judgment." (Gen. xviii, 19.) 

In direct contradiction to this ordinary economy of salva- 
tion, children are taught by the generally received theory, 
that they have nothing to do as yet with religion — that they 
are strangers and aliens from the household of God, and can 
do nothing good or acceptable unto Him, until they pass 
through some mysterious change and transformation of char- 
acter, variously styled regeneration, the new birth, conversion, 
and justification. In the mean time, until this mighty 
change comes, the natural corruption of the heart, and the 
overwhelming current of ungodliness in social life, concur to 
stimulate the deluded, children of the promise to serve the 
world, the flesh, and the Devil, with all their heart, with all 
their mind, and with all their strength. 

Thus the forming period of life, the time when character 
is most surely developed and most firmly fixed, when the dis- 
position is determined, and when the affections receive their 
permanent impress and direction, is taken away from God 
and devoted to impiety. Can we wonder at the difficulty of 
persuading men, after this, to become Christians? The 
work of changing a corrupt nature into a holy nature is hard 
enough when performed at every advantage, when all the 
precious means of grace are employed from the dawn of ex- 
istence unintermittedly to the end of life. But when that 
corrupt nature has been cultivated and hardened into fixed 
habits; when the affections have been taught to flow, in 
deeply worn channels, at enmity with the truth; when the 


Gospel must change the long established current and pur- 
pose of the soul, the difficulty of its successful operation is 
almost infinitely increased. And so the strong, unbroken, 
and fast flowing stream of ungodliness that is rushing over 
the land plainly testifies. Not many of the vast multitude 
become nominal Christians in mature life. Not so many 
become real Christians then in heart and life. 

5. 2 Re - ^ ne G° s P e l °f Salvation has made pro- 
ance, faith, vision for this, and for all other exigencies of 
and Conversion, human position, produced by human willful- 


nfiae tinrl wrvr\r l 

ness and wrong. The Church must not cease 

the Subjects of sternly to rebuke the doctrinal error out of 


which so much of this evil has proceeded. 
But she must also faithfully apply to this wound of human- 
ity the healing balm which the great Physician has placed 
in her keeping. Repentance and Conversion are the first 
and the indispensable remedies for this inveterate sickness 
of the soul. Or, as the same thing is convertibly expressed 
by St. Paul when he described his own full publication of 
the Gospel, " Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the 
Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord 
Jesus Christ." (Acts xx, 21.) 

Let it not be understood that these health-giving medi- 
caments of the Gospel are applicable only to the condition 
which we are now considering. They belong to the whole 
Christian life in all its states and varieties. Faith, informed 
by the Holy Spirit, is the continuing power and the ever 
present guide of the Christian life. Repentance is the chas- 
tening discipline by which at all times corrupt nature is to 
be purified and brought to healthfulness. Conversion is that 
gradual and ceaseless change of the renewed soul, by which 
all the powers and affections of man are transformed into 
the image of Christ. And this is the appointed work of the 


whole life of man in this world, of the whole allotted period 
of probation. 

But these words, and especially the term conversion, have 
a more precise and emphatic application to those persons who 
have surrendered themselves to the dominion of sin, and 
have been living without God in the world, when they would 
turn and be saved. They must be converted, as some of 
the Jews were who had crucified their Lord and Master; as 
St. Peter was, who had denied him; as St. Paul was, who 
had persecuted Him; as the Prodigal Son was, who had left 
his father's house and wasted his substance in riotous liv- 
ing. That is to say, these sinners must see the error of their 
way, and turn from it, confessing and bewailing their sins, 
and seeking earnestly of God pardon and forgiveness, through 
the blood of Christ. They have been walking hitherto in 
one direction, and in one path — downward to eternal ruin. 
To be saved, they must reverse their steps, they must leave 
that path, they must find the way of life which Christ has 
marked with His own footsteps, and resolutely walk therein, 
upward to God. This change of direction and of pathway 
is Conversion, in the sense of that term as applied to this 
class of persons. Again, these persons have been long 
estranged from God, they have been living in utter disregard 
of Him and of His laws. They have been serving with all 
their might the enemies of God and man. To be convinced 
of the wickedness, danger and folly of this course, to re- 
nounce with all the heart this fatal subjection, to turn with 
the whole soul unto God for pardon and reconciliation, this 
is Conversion. 

3 3 Popular ^ ut even nere * ne P P u ^ ar theology has 

?^™V N Re " made an issue with the Bible, and with the 


M0N « ordinary consciousness of men, which puts a 

new obstacle in the way of the sinner's return to God. The 


theory which makes Conversion to be the beginning and 
almost the consummation of spiritual life — the first access 
of the Holy Ghost to the soul, changing at once all its per- 
ceptions, thoughts, feelings, and desires — so magnifies this 
change, speaks of it in such mystical and exalted strains, 
and so leaves out of view all its necessary antecedents, that 
plain men, who can not be controlled by imagination, and 
are not easily brought under the mesmeric influences of a 
revival meeting, are unable to recognize any thing of the 
sort in their own experience. They, therefore, conclude 
that they have not yet been effectually called of God to 
His service. With some- little tinge of incredulity, perhaps, 
they rely upon the faithfulness and sufficiency of their 
guides, and easily accept an agreeable delusion, which ena- 
bles them to enjoy the pleasures of sin, while they throw 
upon their Maker the responsibility of their own delay and 
the whole care of their conversion. 

This popular offspring of modern sectarianism, by substi- 
tuting certain vague, indefinable and fantastic notions and 
sentiments, for the simple faith and the humble obedience 
of the Gospel — insisting upon the former as the only tests 
of true religion, and depreciating the latter as worthless 
and deceptive — has confounded the minds of many honest 
and intelligent persons. Deluded by the oft-repeated 
phrases of this indefinite system, these persons have come 
to look upon practical Christianity as an unreality, with 
which they can have nothing to do until God shall please 
to perform in them a new miracle and to make to their 
souls a new revelation. It is obvious that such a system 
is admirably fitted to encourage self-deception in the sickly 
and imaginative, and to serve as a cover for the hypocrisy 
of the vicious, while it discourages and repels the honest, 
the intelligent, and the plain dealing. 


In contrast with this whole system of errors and ambig- 
uities, the Bible and the Church, as has been largely proved, 

. . m _, assure us that " the manifestation of the 

§ 4. The Bible 

Representation Spirit is given to every man to profit withal," 
of this Grace. t ^ at « ^ one §pj r it we are a u baptized into 

one body," that spiritual life has been imparted in Christ 
Jesus to every soul of man, to co-exist with the carnal life, 
as the only means of trial and the only ground of the judg- 
ment of men. The probation of every man, therefore, con- 
sists in the choice of the emancipated will to be in subjection 
to the flesh or to the Spirit, to be led by the one or by the 
other. The Bible and the Church, therefore, speak to all 
men alike, telling them not to wait for the Spirit yet to be 
given, but to hear and obey the Spirit that is already in them, 
sealing and confirming upon the heart the external truth 
which the messengers of God proclaim. The Bible and the 
Church say to all men that the Spirit of God has been 
poured upon all flesh, (Acts ii, 17 ;) That God hath sent 
forth the Spirit of His Son into the hearts of all the re- 
deemed. (Gal. iv, 4, 5, 6.) And they exhort all men to 
grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, (Ephes. iv, 30 ;) To 
quench not the Spirit, (1 Thess. v, 19 ;) To stand fast in 
one Spirit, (Phil, i, 27 ;) To be filled with the Spirit. 
(Ephes. v, 18.) To "walk in the Spirit and ye shall not 
fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the 
Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are con- 
trary the one to the other: so that ye can not do the things 
that ye would. But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not 
under the law." (Gal. v, 16-18.) "He that soweth to his 
flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that s'/weth 
to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal. 

When Christ calls us by the external Word and by the 


external ministry to come unto Him, He has already given to 
us grace sufficient to enable us to obey the call, and truly to 
come to Him in soul and in body. For Christ calls the 
whole man, and demands the allegiance and the service of 
soul and body alike to Himself. The soul must come by the 
action of the enlightened will, fleeing for refuge from the 
vengeance of insulted mercy, " to lay hold upon the hope set 
before us " in the Gospel. And this determination of the 
will must be made effectual and complete by bringing the 
body to enter visibly into the covenant of grace, or to return 
to obedience to that covenant, by confessing Christ before 
men, by diligent use of ail the appointed means of Grace, 
by taking our allotted station and performing our whole duty 
in the ranks of Christ's militant Church, by laboring faith- 
fully in the vineyard of the Lord ; "for with the heart man 
believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession 
is made unto salvation." (Rom. x, 10.) 

Those who refuse to obey the call of Christ, do it freely, 
to their own wrong. They choose their own state, and, con- 
sequently, affix the sentence of condemnation upon them- 
selves. There is no mysticism and no mystery about this 
part of Christianity at all. It is a plain question of choice 
between one service and another; between the carnal and the 
Divine life ; between sowing to the flesh and sowing to the 
Spirit; between being led captive by the lusts of the flesh, or 
being led by the Spirit into the glorious liberty of the sons 
of God. The Spirit of God within them, the Divine life of 
the soul which they have been trying to extinguish by sin, 
gives to every man the same power to make the better choice, 
which the old carnal nature gives to make the worse. The 
will, by the inspiration of the Spirit of Christ, is free — per- 
fectly free — to make the one choice or the other ; except in 
so far as it has been brought again into bondage by indul- 


gence in sin, by men's own previous voluntary submission 
to the dominion of sin. 

This additional enslavement of the will, and consequent 
diminution of its power to turn to good, is a part of the 
penalty which every man is accumulating upon himself 
every day that he continues to be the servant of sin. But 
until he becomes reprobate, until he is utterly abandoned 
of God — as long as the Holy Spirit stays with him, giving 
him any inclination to good, and love of good — the possi- 
bility of freedom, the capacity to turn to God and to do 
works meet for repentance remains. A harder struggle and 
a stronger effort will be required, in proportion to the time 
during which men have submitted themselves to the power 
of evil ; but when the awakened soul feels the faintest desire 
to be free, and will manfully resolve no longer to earn the 
" wages of sin," but anxiously to seek for " the gift of God," 
the Spirit of the Most Higli will be found sufficient for the 
exigency and the mighty power of God unto his salvation, 
if the sinner will be faithful to himself. 

§ 5. a Popular It is an entire departure from the terms of 
Objection to ^ e choice freely offered to us between good 

Submitting to •> ° 

the terms of and evil, between the service of God and the 
the gospel. service of the Devil, to allege, as is often 
done, that we cannot fulfill the whole law, that we do not 
love God with all our heart, or our neighbor as ourselves, or 
hate all sin with a perfect hatred, and therefore to conclude 
that we have no right to come to Christ for salvation, to 
enter into His vineyard, or to enlist in His army. 

This is a mistake which produces an infinite deal of mis- 
chief. The law is not a part of the covenant of grace, but 
the end of that covenant. If men could perfectly obey the 
law of life and happiness there would be no necessity or place 
for Christianity. But because the law of life is to us sinners 


a law of condemnation and death, Christ came to fulfill the 
law for us. Now then, says St. Paul, we "are not under the 
law, but under grace." (Rom. vi, 14.) "The law was our 
schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justi- 
fied by faith." (Gal. iii, 24.) And the same law remains a 
schoolmaster, the standard of Christian attainment, the unre- 
pealable condition of eternal life and happiness, to keep us 
near to Christ, abiding in Him, trusting not in ourselves but 
in Him, seeking for more and more of His Spirit, laboring 
in His strength, "growing up into Him in all things," going 
from grace to grace, "till we all come in the unity of the 
faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a per- 
fect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of 
Christ." (Eph. iv, 13.) Then, when we have attained this 
fullness of the stature of Christ, we shall be enabled like 
Him to obey perfectly the law of life and happiness. Whether 
this consummation of grace is reserved for the reward of the 
faithful soldier of the Cross in the article of death, or when 
it is given, we are not informed. Certain it is that St. Paul 
had not reached to this summit when he wrote the Epistle to 
the Philippians, for he says there, "Not as though I had 
already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow 
after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am ap- 
prehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to 
have apprehended : but this one thing I do, forgetting those 
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those 
things which are before, I press toward the mark for the 
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil, 
iii, 12, 14.) 

To allege then our inability to keep the whole law, or any 
part of it, as a reason for declining to accept the terms of 
the Christian covenant, or to come to Christ for salvation, is 
a flat contradiction of the very sense and meaning of the 


Gospel. Christ came to call, not the righteous, but sinners, 
to repentance. If men could keep the law they would not 
need Christ ; but because they cannot keep it, they must 
come to Him for salvation, and be found in Him, or perish 
in their sins. 

"What is really wanted to bring the sinner to Christ, is a 
sufficient and proper sense of sin, of our own guiltiness be- 
fore God, of our inability to walk in the law of the Lord, 
aud a sincere desire to escape from the power and the con- 
demnation of sin, joined with so much knowledge of the 
Gospel as enables us to believe and trust in Christ as the 
Savior from this power and condemnation of sin. That sense 
of unworthiness which men sometimes offer as an excuse for 
staying away from Christ, so far from being a valid apology, 
is, if deep and real, the very condition, and the indispensable 
condition, of their coming to Him acceptably. A true con- 
viction of sin is the passport of the sinner to Christ. This, 
with trust in Christ as the Savior of sinners, and a full de- 
termination to accept the salvation of the Gospel upon the 
terms of the Gospel, is all the qualification that can ever be 
attained for entering fully and unreservedly into the Gospel 

If these feelings have been awakened in the soul in a faint 
degree, like the grain of mustard seed to which our Savior 
likens the kingdom of heaven, they are the witnesses there 
of God's Spirit striving with us. They are the remaining 
manifestations of that spiritual life which Jesus gives to all 
His redeemed, in order that by the sympathetic power of that 
hidden life He may draw them all to Himself, and conform 
them all to His perfect nature. Do not rudely stifle or 
banish these precious feelings, these blessed manifestations of 
the Divine life in your souls; but cherish them, nurture 
them, follow their guidance, go with them to Christ, from 


whom they came, and they will prove to be the power of an 
endless life with God. For, however faint and feeble they 
may be now, their existence proves their vital power. It is 
the essential quality of all life to grow under proper culture. 
The physical and the spiritual kingdoms are identical in 
this. The feeblest beginnings are slowly developed into 
the mightiest results. The flower and the fruit are in the 
little, dried seed. But the flower and the fruit will never 
be produced unless the seed be placed in the earth, where 
it will be kindly nurtured by the dew and the rain and the 
sunshine of heaven, and be allowed gradually and silently 
to expand and grow. 

So of the Divine life in the soul of man. God gives just 
enough grace to bring every poor sinner to Christ for more 
grace. To demand that God shall give this additional grace 
before we use the grace already given by coming to Christ 
for all we need, is a foolish delusion. It is an idle and 
thankless attempt to substitute our wisdom for the appoint- 
ments of God, and can end in nothing but disappointment 
and destruction. The same principle applies to every stage 
and period of the Christian life. When we no longer come 
to Christ for grace we receive no more, and the spiritual life 
is starved and will ultimately be destroyed. When men 
cease to work with God in the matter of their salvation He 
refuses to work with them. Salvation is all of grace, but 
it is grace given to those who will receive and use it. 

If the feeble stirrings of spiritual life in the soul be re- 
pressed for any cause, or upon any plea, the poor sinner, at 
each repetition of the folly, writes his own doom, pronounces 
his own sentence of condemnation. He thus consigns him- 
self to the darkness and corruption of his natural state and 
willingly accepts the eternal death, which consists in entire 
separation from God and utter destitution of the happiness 


which God alone can give. Our merciful and long-suffering 
Savior does not, indeed, often take the deluded servant of sin 
at his word when first he is guilty of this wrong to his own 
soul. He permits His Spirit of light and life to abide in us 
still. Again and again the word of reconciliation, the blessed 
Gospel of the Son of God is heard. And again and again 
the Spirit of Christ in the soul moves and stirs within us to 
produce conviction and obedience. If all these efforts for 
our salvation are through life resisted the Spirit will leave us, 
all spiritual life will be extinct, and the soul will be given 
over to the corruption it loved and to the death it has chosen. 
3 6. Physical ^ ne external and material world is the type 
Analogies to an( j expression of the inner and spiritual 

the Divine Life 

in the Soul of world. The Scriptures copiously employ the 
Man « analogies of nature as representative of spirit- 

ual truths. The physical life of man in every possible 
variety of illustration is made to symbolize the Divine life in 
the soul. Birth, infancy, growth and maturity, all find their 
counterparts in the spiritual man. And the death of the 
body is the loathsome image of spiritual death — the sepa- 
ration of the soul from God by sin. So the economy of 
nature in the life and germination of seeds and in the nour- 
ishment, growth and fructification of plants; the care and 
diligence of the husbandman in preparing the ground, in 
sowing the seed and in gathering the harvest, are continually 
used to image the spiritual life of the soul. There are, in- 
deed, a few expressions apparently inconsistent with these 
numerous and constantly recurring delineations. Such are 
those expressions which represent the souls of wicked men 
as dead, as if life was utterly extinct, or had never existed 
in them. But these comparatively rare instances are easily 
reconciled with the general teaching of the Bible by a refer- 
ence to the usus hqucndi of Scriptural language, which sel 


dom employs our degrees of comparison, but signifies the 
diminution or lesser degree of a thing by its absence or 
negation. Numerous instances of this familiar form of 
speech will occur to all who are acquainted with the Bible. 

By this Scriptural standard then, employing so profusely 
the analogies of nature to explain and illustrate the spiritual 
life of man, we can test the truth of those conflicting views 
of the religious life which have been now considered. 

Does man himself, the noblest of these types, come into 
the world full grown and amply endowed with strength and 
wisdom? Does the majestic forest rise up at once in its glory 
and grandeur by the one fiat of the Almighty? Let us gt> 
where the Bible sends us, to the fields and to the woods, for 
instruction. We behold a glorious harvest. Did it come 
there of itself? Did it grow up in a day? No. Its be- 
ginning was a parcel of dry and apparently lifeless seed. If 
the seed had been really, as well as apparently, lifeless, there 
would have been no harvest now. There was a hidden life 
in each one of those dry grains. That living germ is so 
small that you can not see it. And when the germ is first 
developed into the young plant, how feeble, how tender is its 
life. It grows, but so gradually, so insensibly, that you can 
not see it grow. We often say, after a succession of warm 
showers in the genial month of May, that we can almost see 
the plants grow and the flowers unfold. But we never did 
see them. Their life is too mysterious, too hidden; their 
growth too gradual and insensible for that. Yet they grow 
on to the consummation of their glory. 

Behold the image of the spiritual life in every fruit and 
forest tree. In the winter you can hardly see the little bark- 
covered germ of leaf and flower. The warm sun of many 
spring days has gradually swelled them, and very slowly the 
buds opened and tiny leaves were half expanded, giving 


early promise of beauteous foliage and of grateful shade. 
But a rude and comfortless north-easter has been blowing 
for several days, and the whole process of expansion and 
growth has stopped. Every thing remains stationary, as if 
suddenly petrified in that precise stage of development which 
it had reached before this wintry storm. The sun and the 
warm south wind must return to nurture these buds of 
promise or they will perish. 

So it is with the spiritual life, the life of God in the soul 
of man. It is implanted there at the very dawn of existence 
to be the power of an eternal life. It is the consequence of 
the connection of our manhood with Jesus, the Son of God. 
It is a life hidden and only to be gradually and insensibly 
developed into visible results and into glorious fruition by 
the agencies of grace, by the power of the Holy Ghost, 
operating through accustomed channels, and by preconstituted 
instrumentalities. If men perversely refuse to employ the 
agencies graciously established for the nurture of the spiritual 
life, that life must of necessity perish; and they will be 
driven away to the everlasting perdition which their sin and 
folly have provoked. Christian religion, therefore, addresses 
its invitations and its warnings to all men alike, because all 
have a Divinely imparted capacity to hear and obey the Gos- 
pel. By reason of this gracious gift every man must act in 
the great matter of religion at his own peril. For the judg- 
ment day will but proclaim the decision which each one has 
made and re-affirm the sentence which each one has pro- 
nounced upon himself. 

? 7 Common Many persons who undoubtingly believe the 
Excuses foe ke- whole Christian revelation are deterred from a 

fusing to Enter •, j j? n • c nu • j. • 

„ manlv and open following; oi Christ, in an 

upon a Chhis- j r o j 

tian Life. obedient submission to all the institutions of 

the Gospel, by various popular excuses for the neglect of a 


plain duty. One of the most common of these, an alleged 
sense of unworthiness, has been already considered and dis- 
posed of. It was not the worthiness of men that brought 
the Son of God from heaven for our relief. As sinners we 
were redeemed, and as sinners we are called to a participation 
of the benefits of redemption. What we really want, to 
qualify us for a joyful acceptance and a faithful use of the 
means of salvation, is a sufficient sense of the fact that we are 
sinners, and that only by the mercy of God in Jesus Christ, 
and in the way in which He has promised to dispense His 
mercy, can we be saved from the everlasting destruction which 
our sins deserve. 

Another common apology which men offer for this species 
of impiety is the inconsistent lives of many of the professed 
Christians around them. But what has a man who believes 
in Christianity, and is seeking the salvation of his soul, to do 
with the faults or with the hypocrisy of those who call them- 
selves Christians? If this religion had never produced any 
fruit of holy living, such a failure of what ought to be its 
effect might be a reason for refusing to believe its Divine 
origin. But this allegation has never been made by the bit- 
terest enemies of Christianity, and it is contradicted by the 
personal knowledge of every man who has lived in a Chris- 
tian community. Besides, every one who has studied this 
religion sees plainly that its principles and precepts, if carried 
out, tend to produce the sublimest virtue of which human 
nature is capable. 

What then does the objection amount to? Simply to these 
tvo positions: 1. That many of those who are honestly using 
this exalted rule of life have not yet succeeded in reducing 
their corrupt natures and their vicious habits to conformity 
with this perfect standard. 2. That some Christians, while 
fchey profess to live according to the Gospel rule, are in fact 


living according to some other and lower rule. Both these 
cases are expressly mentioned and provided for in the Gospel, 
and are only proofs of the extent and inveteracy of that cor- 
ruption of human nature which Christian religion proposes 
to cure, and which must be cured to make men capable of 
eternal felicities in the presence of God. 

Is the dishonesty of this latter class of Christian profes- 
sors any reason at all why we should not honestly try to do 
what they only pretend to do? Because there are failures 
and false pretences in every business of life, is that any rea- 
son why we should refuse to use any of the means of earning 
an honest livelihood? If an idle vagrant were to allege the 
large amount of fraud and cheating in the ordinary trades 
and occupations as a justification for his not working for his 
daily bread, would we admit the excuse? What a miserable 
self-deception then it is, when we allege a reason precisely 
equivalent to this for refusing to use the means of salvation — 
for neglecting to labor for the bread that cometh down from 

Another way in which men excuse themselves from a per- 
formance of the external duties of religion is by a compla- 
cent estimate of their own moral character. They flatter 
themselves that persons so just and exact in the performance 
of the relative duties of life need have no fears of the eter- 
nal wrath of the Almighty. Now, put this standard of 
morality, so far as our fellow men are concerned, as high as 
we please, and supposing that we come up to it, making no 
allowance for self-deception in the measure of ourselves by 
this standard, what does this boasted morality of ours prove? 
Why, that the Christianity, a large part of which we practi- 
cally reject, has . so forcibly impressed itself upon the public 
law and the public sentiment of the age and country in which 
we live, that its moral precepts have become the common rule 


of social life, and are incorporated into the civil law and into 
a controlling public opinion. To this rule we have become 
habituated by education, and we are retained in the obser- 
vance of it by self respect, by regard to our reputation, and 
by the love of that virtue which we have thus actually found 
to be a source of the purest pleasure. 

If we are thus indebted to Christianity for all that is most 
ennobling in our character and position, how can we justify 
our neglect of that more important portion of the same sys- 
tem which determines our relations to God, and which 
provides the only sanction by which any part of this vital 
element of human society can be maintained? Out of his 
own mouth, therefore, is the man condemned who puts his 
morality in opposition to Christianity. The thing in which 
he prides and exalts himself is but the faint reflection of 
Christianity itself; and in magnifying this morality he but 
testifies to the inestimable value and necessity of the whole 
religion that God has revealed for the salvation of men. For 
a man to allege his accidental obedience to a portion of this 
saving and ennobling truth as a reason for his contemptuous 
disregard of the rest, is a poor self-deception. Besides, the 
morality of the Gospel only impressed itself upon the world 
so as to become the law of the land, and the law of public 
sentiment, through the power of the Gospel as an institution, 
openly professed, and daily exhibited to men. Upon the 
principle of action which dispenses with that institution, the 
morality of the Gospel would have died with its promulger, 
and civilization, and all that adorns, refines and ennobles hu- 
man life and human society would have been banished long 
feiuce from the earth. 

These, and all other difficulties which men permit to hinder 

hem from the practical acceptance of the salvation of the 

Gospel upon its own terms, are evasions and sophistries, 


which have no foundation in common sense or in the Word of 
God. God made every man to be saved, and no truth can 
stand in the way of that salvation. God and truth are one. 
God can not contradict Himself. Whatever then contravenes 
His design for our salvation is not a truth, but a falsehood. 
Only let men act in this most important matter in character 
with themselves as reasonable creatures, and the result is 
certain. They will accept the invitation of God's love and 
mercy. They will at once begin, and diligently continue, 
trusting only in Him for strength, to do their own part in the 
mighty work of salvation. 




True Keligion arid Idolatry are opposites, in perpetual 
conflict in the human soul, in human society, and in every 
g 1. Its Na- stage of human history. Out of this conflict 
TURE « come the most concerning phenomena of per- 

sonal, social, and national life. Man is so essentially a sub- 
ject creature, so essentially religious — that is, bound to the 
service of a superior — that he must have a God to believe in 
and to worship. If he does not know the true God, or will 
not own or worship Him, then he must find or make a God. 
It is not at all necessary that the false God should be carved 
out of wood, or stone, or metal. That is but a refinement 
of idolatry, a sort of liturgical development, to aid in the 
worship of the God first framed by man's device out of his 
own nature. We can see then how universally practical, 
how grandly philosophic, are the Old Testament Scriptures, 
in representing all the phenomena of false religion, in every 
aspect and under every variety of form and fancy, as simple 

Man must believe in something, and worship something, a 
God or a Devil, a lust or an idea. Fond and foolish there- 
fore is the conceit of those vain-glorious people who boast 
of their freedom from all religious restraint. The service of 
God is perfect freedom, because it is the full, healthful, and 

worship. 245 

right action of all the powers and faculties of man, issuing 
in true enjoyment, real happiness, the highest good of our 
nature and condition. The man who will not serve God is 
under service, nevertheless. And his service is bondage, a 
degrading servitude, not in accordance with the right action 
of his faculties, but contrary to that right action; and the 
issue is, not happiness, not well being, but discontent, misery 
and ruin. 

The varieties of idolatry are: 1. The worship of an evil 
Spirit. 2. The worship of some creation of a superstitious 
fancy; under which may be ranked all the things natural or 
artificial which have been ignorantly worshipped as gods. 
3. The worship of some lust, more or less sordid and de- 
grading. 4. The worship of some conceit or diseased fancy 
of our own, or of the leader whom we follow. The lives 
and actions of all men, in all ages, may be reduced under 
one or other of these five heads: the service of God, which 
is freedom ; or one or more of these four varieties of idolatry, 
which is slavery. 

Take any passage of life or of histcfry, and you will be at 
no loss under which head or heads of this classification to 
place it. The common language of mankind makes the ap- 
plication for us. The expression, "slaves to lust," tells of a 
whole troop of cruel and relentless masters, under whose 
subjection men have suffered and groaned, and sacrificed 
their peace and happiness and manhood, from generation to 
generation. Sordid avarice, bloody ambition, emasculating 
licentiousness, tyrannous hate, gnawing envy, fierce revenge, 
and drunkenness, which, alas ! needs no appellative : what real 
horrors, beyond all human imagining, have signalized the 
destructive power of these hideous forms of idolatry! For 
examples, on a scale of terrific magnitude, of the worship of 
i>ur own conceits, take the history of fanaticism every where, 


and in every form, religious or atheistic. See it in the 
chronic horrors of the Inquisition, in the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew's, in the purple gore which ran down the streets 
of every city in France, as an offering to liberty, equality 
and reason. 

Worship is the devotion of the whole man, body and soul, 
to the Deity we serve. When we have chosen an idol for 
our Deity there seems to be little difficulty in rendering this 
worship, because such devotion runs with our corrupt nature 
and speeds its downward course. But the worship of the 
true God, the devotion of the whole man to Him, is against 
that corrupted nature, and is always a hard and difficult 

There must be continual acts of faith, reverence and de- 
votion, to keep God in our mind and to urge us to our duty. 
And because this is necessary, God has made it imperative 
by express command, and by restraining His gifts of grace 
to our obedience to that command. 

It is a sad confusion, which some persons have fallen into, 
in representing prayer 'as having no other virtue than to work 
in ourselves the feelings which it expresses. It is true 
enough that there is no natural efficacy in prayer, so far as 
we can understand, to act upon the purposes of the Almighty 
God. And true enough it is, also, that there is a natural 
efficacy in prayer to nurture in those who make it the feel- 
ings and desires it expresses. We see this effect continually 
in children. They often ask for a thing almost idly, with 
little care or desire for it. But the mere request suggests 
the object more prominently, and the mind dwells upon it, 
and the desire for it increases. And as the petition is re- 
peated, the urgency of desire grows, and becomes importu- 
nate and troublesome, both to child and parent, until it is ap- 
peased by gratification. 

worship. 247 

This would be the natural effect upon the soul of real 
prayer offered to God. Those who fancy that this is its only 
effect and meaning, seem to have left out of view, altogether, 
the wisdom and goodness of God, in adapting the positive 
laws and ordinances of religion to the actual nature of the 
creature He had made. Because He knew the natural fitness 
of prayer to act thus beneficially upon our nature, He en- 
joined it as a duty; and to make it an intelligent and a real 
act, He has ordained the faithful use of this medium of 
access to Him as the condition of those renewed supplies of 
grace which we continually need. For, observe, a child 
would not seriously ask its parent for that which it knew 
could never be obtained for the asking. The child knows, 
by nature and experience, the efficacy of prayer in moving 
the earthly parent, and therefore he prays truly, really, ur- 
gently, and with the expectation of receiving because of his 
prayer. The same thing is true of prayer to the heavenly 
Father. On the supposition that prayer, or other worship, is 
only intended to operate on ourselves, our worship would not 
be real, it would be a mere "make-believe," a sort of pious 

To make prayer real, and so to accomplish its saving pur- 
pose, God has appointed, as a part of the economy of 
redemption, that it shall be efficacious, and the indispensable 
condition upon which He will minister His grace and mercy. 
And He has revealed this gracious provision, in some way, to 
all souls, and it is a part of all religions. It is the instinc- 
tive cry of the human spirit in the urgency of need and of 
distress. The whole animal creation has been framed in inti- 
mate sympathy with this yearning and trusting faith of the 
human soul. As the Divine Word beautifully expresses it, 
'''God feedeth the young ravens that call upon him." And 
with what variety of tender and striking representations does 


our blessed Savior make known to us the efficacy of prayer, 
and the method of it, in the economy of redemption. 

3 2 public As we have already seen, God could not be 
Worship, a kept in memory by such a creature as man 
without continually recurring and formally 
expressed acts of faith, reverence and adoration. And man 
is so essentially a social being, that to make these acts effect- 
ive to their purpose, to give to them sufficient animation, 
earnestness and power, some of them must be social, common 
and public; else they would exercise little or no influence 
upon mind, character, or conduct. Therefore, in revealing 
Himself to man, the Almighty Father has always accom- 
panied the revelation with a prescription of some definite 
time and method for the exercise of these necessary acts of 
faith, reverence and adoration. This Divine prescription has 
been the foundation — the starting point — of all the Liturgies, 
or forms of public worship, that have prevailed in the world. 
By the Divine appointment, all other acts of worship were 
attached to the sacrifice of material things, formally offered 
to God upon an Altar. It is a strange mistake to suppose 
that Altar and Sacrifice belong only to animal and bloody 
offerings. On the contrary, as we shall show hereafter, all 
material offerings to God, animate or inanimate, in all re- 
ligions, were sacrifices, presented upon an Altar, and are 
themselves but symbols, as needful helps to our infirmity, of 
that higher and truer sacrifice which we are required to make 
of ourselves to God. In that elaborate ritual which God 
gave to Moses there were Altars upon which no animal sac- 
rifices were ever to be made ; and there was one — the Golden 
Altar of Incense — upon which nothing but incense from 
fragrant herbs was offered. And this incense only symbol- 
ized the prayers of the assembled congregation, which began 
to be uttered simultaneously with the burning of the in- 

worship. 249 

cense. (Exodus xxx, 1-10; xxxvii, 29.) (Lightfoot's 
Temple Service, ch. 9.) 

St. Paul refers to the Golden Altar of Incense, on which 
only "sweet spices" were offered, when he tells the Phillip- 
pians that their gifts sent to him were "an odor of a sweet 
smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God." (Phil, 
iv, 18.) 

From this Divine foundation there arose by gradual accre- 
tion in the Jewish Church a grand and noble Liturgy, to 
which Prophets, and Kings, and Psalmists successively con- 
tributed, as the ages passed along. This Liturgy was in 
constant use in our Savior's time, and we see, from incidental 
notices in His life, that none were more devout than He in 
the employment of it. How touching and instructive is that 
wonderful and reverent exclamation of the God-man, in 
reference to one prominent portion of this Liturgy, "With 
desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I 
suffer." (St. Luke xxii, 15.) 

In reorganizing His kingdom under its Christian form, 
the blessed Savior instituted Baptism as the substitute for all 
the sacraments of purification, and the oblation of bread and 
wine as the substitute for all the sacrifices, bloody and un- 
bloody, of the dispensation that had passed away by His ful- 
fillment of it. These Sacraments are in their nature social 
and public, and to consecrate more effectually the principle 
of common worship, under the new economy of grace, the 
great Head of the Church promises His especial presence 
only to the assemblies of His people: "For where two or 
three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the 
midst of them." (St. Matt, xviii, 20.) This necessity in 
human nature for public worship, so emphatically recognized 
by the Divine prescription, is but one feature of that more 
general necessity, which required the establishment of the 


visible kingdom of God, as the conservator of all religion, 
"the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Tim. iii, 15.) 
Henceforth, around the Christian Sacraments were all the 
acts of faith, and penitence, and prayer, and praise, to be 
grouped, as their center. At once the most delightful por- 
tions of the Jewish Liturgy were adopted and transformed 
into vehicles for sending up on high the Christian sacrifice 
of confession, supplication and praise. Unquestionably the 
Apostles, and their immediate successors, used the liberty 
which belonged to their office and their work, by giving to 
each Church such a rudimental Liturgy as was best adapted 
to the situation, knowledge and circumstances of that Church. 
Hence, we find in the earliest ages four distinct types of the 
Christian Liturgy. "The first may be entitled the great 
Oriental Liturgy, as it seems to have prevailed in all the 
Christian Churches from the Euphrates to the Hellespont, 
and from the Hellespont to the southern extremity of Greece. 
The second was the Alexandrian, which from time immemo- 
rial has been the Liturgy of Egypt, Abyssinia, and the 
country extending along the Mediterranean Sea toward the 
West. The third was the Roman, which prevailed through- 
out the whole of Italy, Sicily, and the civil diocese of Africa. 
The fourth was the Galilean, which was used throughout Gaul 
and Spain, and probably in the exarchate of Ephesus until 
the fourth century. These four great Liturgies appear to 
have been the parents of all the forms now extant, and in- 
deed of all which we can in any manner discover; and their 
antiquity was so very remote, their use so extensive in those 
ages when Bishops were most independent, that it seems dif- 
ficult to place their origin at a lower period than the Apos- 
tolic Age. The liberty which every Christian Church plainly 
had and exercised, in the way. of improving its formularies, 
confirms the antiquity of the four great Liturgies; for where 


this liberty existed, it could have been scarcely anything else 
but reverence for the apostolical source from which the 
original liturgies were derived that prevented an infinite 
variety of formularies, and preserved the substantial unifor- 
mity which we find to have prevailed in vast districts of the 
primitive Church." (Palmer's Origines Liturgicae, vol. i, 
p. 8.) 

A precomposed Liturgy is an essential of public or com- 
mon worship. If each person in such an assembly were to 
make aloud his own prayer, and sing his own hymn, instead 
of the beauty of rational worship, there would only be the 
discord and confusion of a disorderly mob. Those mistaken 
persons, therefore, who have such a horror of Liturgies, and 
declaim so vehemently against forms of worship, as cold, 
lifeless and unspiritual, have, in truth, and from the necessity 
of the case, but exchanged a full, expressive, and well-com- 
posed Liturgy, the ripened product of the learning, taste and 
piety of successive ages, for the crude and indigested forms 
which the leader of the congregation may happen to com- 
pose. For, be it remembered, that the utterance of the 
Minister, in a congregation which fondly fancies that it has 
never used a Liturgy, becomes the precomposed form of 
prayer for all the people who receive and use it, as it flows 
from the lips of this extemporized prophet. It is the pre- 
scribed form for them, and they must take it as it comes, 
with all its defects of language, of propriety, and of affec- 
tion, and with all its unseemly conceits, political, fanciful, or 
inhumane, and appropriate it as best they can. 

Fortunately for these good people, they have not entrusted 
their worthy minister for the time being with the office of 
extemporizing for their use, at each occasion of public wor- 
ship, the poetry and music in which they sing the praises of 
God. So much of a duly prepared liturgy they have happily 


retained. In this better custom they are inconsistent with 
their avowed principles; but inconsistency in folly is always 
a benefit. 

It will hardly be contended by the most earnest advocate 
of extemporized devotions that the psalms and hymns they 
are accustomed to use are less hearty and less spiritual than 
the rest of their worship. On the contrary, all feel that this 
is the most animated, stirring, and inspired department of 
worship. And in the congregations which flatter themselves 
that they are too spiritual to worship out of a book, the very 
portions of the service which are supposed to be extem- 
porized, are, of necessity, precomposed for the people, and 
'prescribed to them, as the form of prayer which they must 
use on that occasion, or else refuse to join in common wor- 

The question then of a Liturgy resolves itself, by the ne- 
cessity of the case, into the issue of better or worse : a liturgy 
well or ill composed, carefully expressing the needs of all 
hearts and adapted to all estates and conditions of men — or 
the hap-hazard efforts of adventurous sciolism; a liturgy 
reverently constructed by a succession of great and godly 
men, in perfect accord with the analogy of faith — or the ever 
changing reflection of the thoughts, passions, conceits, and 
partyisms of individual men in each passing week. 

To make the decision upon this issue more emphatic, let it 
be remembered that a proper Liturgy, starting from the 
Divine prescription, and built up by the successive contribu- 
tions of holy men, in jealous adherence to the "proportion 
of faith," is absolutely necessary as a preventive of the worst 
form of Idolatry. For, when the human minister can pray 
as well as preach what he pleases, he will presently transfer 
the formal worship of the assembly to his own ideas, his own 
cherished idols. He will gather all his whimsical or fanatical 

worship. 253 

conceits into one monstrous conception, and make the people 
worship it with him as their God. Such an idolatry as this 
would be far more fatal in corrupting and debauching the 
consciences of men than any other idolatry that has appeared 
in the Christian Church. This is not a merely speculative 
assertion. The assertion has become fact, over and over 
again, in most of those Christian bodies which have tried the 
hazardous experiment of dispensing with an established Lit- 
urgy, and have committed the awful realities of religion to 
the sole disposal of the transient impulses and fluctuating 
opinions of their human guides. 

The extent of this departure from the worship of the true 
God may be seen in the fact that some of these errorists 
have openly clamored for a new Bible, while others have 
more covertly tried to impair the authority of the old one, 
because that Bible revealed a God altogether different from 
the fantastic or ferocious idol of the imagination which they 
were accustomed to worship. 

A Liturgy, like all living things, must grow. It cannot be 
struck off at a single heat, from a single mind. It starts 
from the Divine prescription of Sacramental acts and words, 
and is adapted to the continued progress of society by the 
piety, taste, and learning of successive generations, under 
fixed and unalterable laws. 

The Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church is not 
faultless. But it is almost universally confessed to be the 
most perfect of human compositions. The English-speaking 
nations enjoy an inestimable blessing in the fact that the 
Bible and the Prayer-book were rendered into the common 
tongue just at the time when the language was in its purest 
and best state, and when the agitations of the world had 
raised up a generation of men of unsurpassed power, wisdom 
and greatness. Hence the simple majesty of the language 


of the Prayer-book, embodying thoughts so full, so pure, 
and so touching, and beautifully expressing all human needs, 
affections and aspirations. The variety attained in this Lit- 
urgy is another of its distinguishing excellences. All the 
parts of public worship are so skillfully disposed that neither 
mind nor body can become wearied by the continuance of 
any one affection or posture, before the congregation is called 
to refreshment and renewed ardor in this heavenly service by 
the transition to some other exercise of devotion. 

"It ought to be mentioned, also, in passing, as a real 
though not a principal element of spirituality in the prayers 
of the Prayer-book, that they are written prayers, prepared 
with forethought, and, in their language, familiar to the mind 
of the person praying. Because it is this, and nothing short 
of this, which can set the spiritual faculties wholly free for 
their appropriate work in the act of devotion. It is this 
which disengages all those inferior ingredients that bring 
themselves into what is popularly called worship — all intel- 
lectual entertainment and criticism, all the pleasures and dis- 
gusts of taste, all surprises, wonderments and apprehensions 
at the choice of an extemporizer's expressions — drops all 
these clear out of mind, and leaves the worshipper but a 
single occupation — that of sending up his own soul as an 
offering on these wings, which are then as free as they are 
familiar, and which have been lifting the Church below into 
communion with the Church above ever since the Apos% 
called them both 'one family.' "* 

Public Worship alone will not serve the exigencies of the 

* The Rev. F. D. Huntington, D. D. Sermon on The Spirituality of the Lit- 
urgy. The volume of Sermons on the Liturgy, from which the above extract is 
taken, came into my hands since this chapter was written, and I cannot forbear 
the opportunity of entreating such of my readers as are not familiar with it to 
procure it for themselves as a household book, and to distribute it freely as one 
of the best missionaries of the Church. 

worship. 255 

Christian life. Without that, indeed, there would be no 

other true worship of God, for without it there could be no 

. „ „ true religion, to keep in mind the true God 

I 3. Family ° ' r 

andPkivate and the duty of worshiping Him. But pub- 
wobship. jj c an( j sacrame utal worship cannot be used 

with such frequency and regularity by the people, even under 
the most favorable circumstances, as to answer their needs. 
Besides, there are vices of human character which public 
worship, if separated from all other worship, would fatally 
nurture. This was shown by the miserable hypocrisy of the 
Pharisees in our Savior's time, who made all their prayers 
only to be seen of men. Therefore, the Divine prescription 
has always required Family and Private Devotion. The Old 
Testament is full of the Divine care for the exercise of re- 
ligion in the Family. Even the greatest national festival of 
the chosen people, the Passover, was ordered to be cele- 
brated as a Family Service, in the house, and by the house- 
hold, with the head of the family as the officiating Priest. 

The consecration of the family relation is even more perfect 
under the Christian than under the former dispensations. 
Our Savior carefully removed from the fifth commandment 
all the glosses by which the Jews had tried to diminish its 
import. The increased sanctity of the marriage tie, the 
many exhortations to children to love, reverence and obey 
their parents; and to parents to bring up their children in 
the nurture and admonition of the Lord, show very plainly 
the mind of the Spirit in regard to this sacred relation. 

The family is the foundation of the Church and of the 
State, and if this primeval institution be dissolved or loosened, 
human nature must deteriorate, and all other interests of 
mankind be irreparably injured. The general disuse of the 
family altar — the banishment of religion and sanctity from 
the family by the refusal of its head, God's anointed Priest, 


to offer up the spiritual sacrifices of prayer aud praise for 
his household, and with them — is one principal cause of the 
social evils with which our unhappy country is afflicted. 

The Divine Life in the soul of man requires more con- 
tinual nourishment from its heavenly source than either of 
these forms of social worship can supply. Here, again, the 
analogy is close between the physical and the spiritual cre- 
ation. The growing plant must receive continued nourish- 
ment. The animal body must be supplied with more than 
daily food. These are the necessary conditions of health 
and life. So the Spiritual life of the soul must be constantly 
sustained. Prayer is the medium by which the soul procures 
this continued nourishment. Prayer performs, in the spirit- 
ual economy, the office assigned in the vegetable economy to 
the minute radicles which are spread out to be the purveyors 
of nutriment for the whole tree. Isolate these radicles from 
the source of supply, even for a short time, and the tree 
must perish. Let daily prayer cease, and spiritual life will 
soon wither and die. Therefore, private prayer has been the 
practice of God's people in all ages. And our Savior, warn- 
ing his disciples against that flagrant sin of the Pharisees in 
making even their private prayers, if they could be so called, 
"in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that 
they may be seen of men," gives this direction for our pri- 
vate devotions: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into 
thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy 
Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in 
secret, shall reward thee openly." (St. Matt, vi, 5, 6.) 

The power and efficacy of prayer are largely declared in 
God's blessed word. And the experience of all good men 
has beautifully attested the faithfulness of their heavenly 
Father in these declarations. The three great forms of this 
holy exercise, Private, Family and Public Prayer, belong to- 

worship. 257 

gether, and must support and help each other. Prayer is 
thus the strength of man in each of the leading aspects of 
his nature, as an individual, as a portion of the family, and 
as a member of society. 

The ministration of the Holy Ghost employs every part 
and incident of human life, and all the Providential govern- 
ment of the world, as means of Grace and helps to salvation. 
Health and sickness, joy and grief, pleasure and pain, wealth 
and poverty, are all, when sanctified by faith and prayer, in- 
struments of holiness. They are a part of the healthful 
discipline which God uses to prepare a people for Himself. 
The heir of salvation must work together with God here also. 
He must strive to make each of these estates and incidents 
of life an occasion for the exercise of those affections toward 
God, which they respectively require and which they are de- 
signed to produce. And, to consecrate the whole life to God, 
the heir of salvation must earnestly strive to obey the Apos- 
tolic injunction to "Pray without ceasing." 




All the views which have been presented of the requisites 

for Confirmation, and of the necessity for perpetual progress 

in the Christian life, apply to that most solemn 

of Grace and of all the ordinances of Christ's religion — the 

not a Testimony Sacrament of His body and blood. In all 

of Holiness. - . _ . _ , 

that has been said of the means ot grace, and 
of their value and importance, reference has been intended 
to this, the most eminent of them all. This Sacrament is a 
means of grace, appointed for our benefit, and adapted to our 
exigency. It is therefore a superstitious error which looks 
upon this Sacrament as too holy for the uses of any sincere 
and humble believer. The Christian who would interpret his 
access to this sacred feast as a testimony to his own sanctity 
is sadly mistaken. It is, on the contrary, another and the 
strongest possible testimony to his sinfulness, and to his need 
of a better righteousness and greater strength than his own. 
The Church provides that none shall partake of this benefit 
but those who come with the most humbling confession of 
sin and of their own unworthiness. It is in truth one of the 
gracious opportunities which Christ has provided for com- 
municating Himself to His redeemed people, for enduing 
them with His Spirit, with His purity, with His strength. 
The misapprehension just mentioned has arisen in par* 

the lord's supper. 259 

from not understanding the words of St. Paul: "He that 
eateth and driuketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh dam- 
nation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." (1 Cor. 
xi, 29.) But St. Paul is speaking of those who had changed 
the Lord's Supper into a drunken feast. His condemnation 
of that iniquity is just as applicable to the hypocritical or 
the sensual abuse of any of the institutions of the Gospel. 
Every reason that exists for the use of any of the appointed 
means of grace — every reason for Baptism, for Confirmation, 
for public and private Prayer, is a reason, of the same force, 
for the coming of all adult persons to this Sacrament. It 
would be a mere repetition, therefore, of much that has been 
already said, to urge the importance of this duty. If it is 
essential that the Christian should grow in grace, then it is 
necessary that this most eminent means of grace should be 
faithfully used. 

As many erroneous views, and some gross corruptions of 
religion, have clustered around this holy Sacrament, a dis- 
tinct statement of its nature and meaning will be a help to 
those for whom this work has been prepared, by removing 
some of the stumbling blocks which have been placed in the 
way of life by the mischievous ingenuity of men. The in- 
timate connection of this great Sacrament with other parts of 
the doctrine and institution of Christ, will make this expla- 
nation a proper opportunity for the consideration of some of 
these connected truths. 

There are two great errors in regard to the nature of this 
Sacrament. One of these degrades it from the most eminent 
of the means of grace, or mysteries, by which Christ is com- 
municated to us, into a mere commemoration, having only a 
natural effect. The opposite error equally degrades the Di- 
vine institution by changing it into a silly and blasphemous 
fable. These two errors will be sufficiently exposed by a 


simple exhibition of the true meaning of the Sacrament. 
But between these vicious extremes there are a great many 
conflicting views and statements, which have been the occa- 
sion of much angry controversy and gratuitous abuse. Of 
all these last mentioned diversities, I do not hesitate to say 
that they are for the most part the merest logomachies, or 
word disputes. The only real ground of controversy in re- 
gard to them is, that the parties will not condescend to agree 
upon the meaning they attach to the words which they use 
in common. Of course such a controversy can have no end, 
and no result but anger and bitterness. 

The Communion Service of the Church presents this Sac- 
rament to us in two principal aspects. First, as a Eucharistic 
and Commemorative Sacrifice. Secondly, as a participation 
of Christ. Under these two aspects we will consider it. 

The prayer of consecration applies to the 
istic and com- Sacrament the specinc title — "sacrifice or 
memokative praise and thanksgiving ' ' — which is the mean- 
ing of the popular name of this Sacrament — - 
The Eucharist. Eucharist means praise, gratitude, giving of 
thanks, and the prayer calls the Sacrament, "this our sacri- 
fice of praise and thanksgiving." The other title, a Com- 
memorative Sacrifice, is not precisely used in the Communion 
Office. But the commemorative character of the Sacrament 
is shown in every part of the Service, and is not by any one 
denied ; and all the terms applicable to a sacrifice are applied 
to this "perpetual memory" which we make before Grod. 
Its character is plainly designated by such terms as "Conse- 
cration," "Offertory," "Oblation," "Invocation," "Holy Mys- 
tery," and by the care which is taken to restrict the power 
of administering this Sacrament to those who have been 
solemnly admitted to the order of Priesthood. 

It can hardly be doubted that this statement has already 

the lord's supper. 261 

excited in a few of my readers a host of prejudices, the 
cherished growth of some of those logomachies to which 
reference was just now made. I have only to ask that these 
prejudices may be held in abeyance until we can agree upon 
the meaning which should be given to the words of the 
Prayer-book just now cited. It will then be clearly seen 
that I do not differ in this statement from any candid and in- 
telligent Christian who thoroughly eschews the two great 
errors already mentioned. 

The plain derivative meaning of the word sacrifice is, any 
thing made sacred, holy; any thing devoted, offered, or dedi- 
cated to God. The popular use of this important and 
familiar word corresponds precisely with the derivative sense. 
In this same latitude and comprehensiveness of meaning is 
the word used in every part of the Bible. This is the one 
common idea, which belongs to the word wherever it appears. 
Every thing is called a Sacrifice which includes this idea, 
and nothing else is so termed. A great many different kinds 
of Sacrifices are mentioned, but always the particular sort in- 
tended must be ascertained from the context. The first sac- 
rifices of which we have any account were of different kinds. 
Cain brought of the fruits of the earth, an Eucharistic offer- 
ing. Abel offered the firstlings of his flock. St. Paul says, 
that "Abel offered an to God a more excellent sacrifice than 
Cain." (Heb. xi, 4.) 

In the Old Testament there is more frequent mention 
made of the sacrifice of animals, because the typical nature 
of the former dispensations made the greater part of the ex- 
ternal observances of religion to consist in these lively repre- 
lentations of the Lamb of God that was slain from the 
beginning of the world. But there were many unbloody sac- 
rifices under those dispensations, and the word is just as 
familiarly and as properly applied to the Sacrifice of righteous- 


ness, of thanksgiving, of joy, of praise, of a broken spirit. 
These expressions occur frequently in the Old Testament 
When the typical dispensations were superseded by a higher 
and better one, the use of the word without reference to 
blood-shedding is still more frequent. " Present your bodies," 
says St. Paul, "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." 
(Rom. xii, 1.) He speaks of himself to the Philippians, as 
being "offered on the sacrifice of their faith," and of the gifts 
they had sent to him as "a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing 
to God." Again he says, "We have an Altar." "By Him, 
therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually." 
"To do good and to communicate forget not, for with such 
sacrifices God is well pleased." (Heb. xiii, 10, 15, 16.) St. 
Peter says we are to "offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable 
to God by Jesus Christ." (1 St. Peter ii, 5.) 

The word Sacrifice is applied just as literally and as appro- 
priately to one of these kinds of sacrifice as to another. 
The primary idea, which gives to any of them the name of 
sacrifice, is as fully preserved in the one as in the other. 
There is no more figure in the one application than in the 
other. A sacrifice is an offering made to the Lord, no mat- 
ter of what. If there is any figure in the use of this word 
in any of the modes already cited, that figure must be found 
in its application to brute and inanimate things. If one use 
of the word is more literal than another, it is its application 
to the souls and bodies of men, to the powers of the mind 
and the affections of the heart. These are the offerings 
upon which the Almighty does indeed place a value. These 
are the things He desires. The offering of the fruits of the 
earth, and of living animals, can only be regarded by Him 
as the external expression of the real sacrifice of the heart, 
and mind, and life, which these offerings represent. If, 
therefore, there is any figure in the use of this word, it is in 

the lord's supper. 263 

its application to the outward emblem rather than to the thing 
signified. But, in truth, there is no figure in either case. 
Whatever is offered to the Lord is a Sacrifice. 

To adapt religion to the compound nature of man, as com- 
posed of soul and body, it was from the beginning appointed 
that the spiritual sacrifices of faith, and penitence, and praise, 
and love, should be embodied into certain prescribed external 
rites and actions. Under the law, besides the sacrifices of 
the Patriarchal dispensation, there were a great many cere- 
monial offenses, the guilt of which could be taken away by a 
ceremonial atonement. This appointment was designed to 
keep more constantly in the mind of the people, by scenical 
representation, the real guilt and defilement of human nature, 
and the propitiatory sacrifice of the blessed Jesus, by which 
the sins of the whole world were to be taken away. But 
the Lamb of God, offered upon Calvary, was the only real 
propitiatory sacrifice ever made. This was the only true sat- 
isfaction for sins ever offered to the Divine Majesty. It is 
only through the mediation and worthiness of that Sacrifice 
that every other sacrifice unto God has been made acceptable 
to Him. 

§ 3. priest These words, and the equivalent Greek 

and priesthood. an( j Latm terms, are inseparably connected 
with the idea of sacrifice, and they all have the same general 
meaning with the word sacrifice. The Latin, Sacerdos, is a 
derivative from the same root with sacrifice, and the Greek, 
fspsuq, has precisely the same derivative meaning, viz, 
"sacred, consecrated to God." The general idea intended to 
be conveyed by all these terms is that of a person having a 
right to come before God and to offer unto Him holy gifts. 

By transgression Adam became the enemy of God and a 
rebel against His just authority. This enemy and rebel 
could therefore render no service to his Maker, but such as 


would be an abomination in the sight of the Holy One, 
And this is the natural condition of all the descendants of 
the first man. 

But the state of Grace, which was provided for man's ne- 
cessity as soon as the state of nature became so dreadful, 
changes entirely these relations between sinful men and the 
Holy God. The Lamb of God, slain from the beginning of 
the world in the purpose of the everlasting Father, became 
at once the Mediator, through whom the Eternal Presence 
was again accessible to man. Through the effectual mediation 
of Christ's all-atoning blood, man could come before the 
Mercy Seat and offer to God the sacrifice of faith and love, 
of praise and thanksgiving. The blood of Christ thus again 
consecrated human nature to the service of the Divine Majesty; 
and men became Priests unto God, privileged to offer gifts 
and sacrifices, both spiritual and material. The latter were 
merely ordained as representative of the former. Thus we 
find the two first sons of Adam offering sacrifices as Priests 
unto the Lord. This Patriarchal Priesthood continued 
through the period of the first and second of those fearful 
apostasies which attested the deep corruption of our nature. 

When the second apostasy became universal, God was 
pleased to call out from this degeneracy one family, to pre- 
serve the true notion of the Priesthood, and to offer accept- 
able sacrifices to Him, through faith in the blood of the 
everlasting covenant. And when this family became a great 
nation, God emphatically declared of them, "Ye shall be 
unto Me a kingdom of Priests and a holy nation." This 
appointment was made under circumstances the most solemn, 
and in a manner the most imposing. It is recorded in the 
19th chapter of Exodus, as the fit preparation for the second 
publication of the law, to those who were thenceforward to 
be the consecrated witnesses and keepers of the truth. Thus 

the lord's supper. 265 

we have the proper application and the comprehensive mean- 
ing of the titles Priest and Priesthood, solemnly affirmed by 
the mouth of the Lord. These titles comprehended the 
whole people of Israel, who were consecrated, set apart, made 
holy for the service of Jehovah. 

The same grace and wisdom which called the people of 
Israel to this high and holy estate, deemed it right and 
proper that out from this holy nation, this kingdom of 
Priests, there should be taken a smaller body, to be more 
especially the Ministers of religion. From this latter body 
again was chosen a still smaller number to be yet more sol- 
emnly devoted to the service of God for special acts of wor- 
ship. And from this last body one was ordained to be the 
High Priest. The terms Priest and Priesthood are frequently 
applied, in a restricted sense, specially to these several orders, 
to whom the duties of the Priesthood were more specifically 
committed. This gradation of rank and division of offices, 
because it offended the pride of some, the Lord of Hosts 
was compelled to vindicate by the most fearful sanctions. 

Men were made Priests, and empowered to offer acceptable 
sacrifices to God, by virtue of the purpose of His coming, 
who, as an atoning Priest, was to offer Himself a sacrifice to 
God. By the actual sacrifice of this glorious High Priest 
the consecration of humanity to the service of God was con- 
summated and perfected. For sin itself, for the real guilt 
and corruption of human nature, there nev^r was but one 
atonement, but one propitiation, but one satisfaction. Access 
in his own right to the presence of God, to offer gifts and 
sacrifices as a Priest, was never enjoyed but by one man — 
the Man Christ Jesus. By virtue cf their union with this 
great High Priest alone hav^ n?en b^en authorized to come 
into the presence of God, an«" offet before Him the sacrifice 


of their hearts and lives. So that Christ is emphatically all 
in all; the beginning and the end; the first and the last. 

In precise accordance with what would seem to be the 
position and relations of Christians, is the language of the 
New Testament concerning them. St. Peter says, "Ye also, 
as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priest- 
hood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by 
Jesus Christ." (1 Peter ii, 5.) In the 9th verse of the 
same chapter he uses almost the very language employed by 
the Almighty to His ancient people. "But ye are a chosen 
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; 
that you should show forth the praises of Him who hath 
called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Which 
in time past were not a people, but are now the people of 
God." St. John declares that Christ hath made us "Kings 
and Priests unto God and His Father." (Rev. i, 6.) Thus 
the Christian Church occupies precisely the place, in regard 
to these particulars, which the ancient Church had occupied. 
The members of both constituted a holy Priesthood unto 
the Lord, privileged to come before Him to offer gifts and 

As the Jewish and Christian Church alike was a polity, a 
social body, designed to have within itself the power of self- 
perpetuity, and compelled by the very purpose of its being 
to perform the most important and concerning functions of a 
social body politic, it was necessary, in either instance, that 
there should be a regular and distinct organization, and sub- 
ordination of office and authority, else the Church would 
have been no better than a disorderly mob, unable to perform 
the functions of a social body, and incapable of providing for 
its own preservation. Therefore, distinction of office, and 
social subordination, were essential ingredients in the consti- 
tution of the Church of God, under the former and the latter 

the lord's supper. 267 

dispensation; "for God is not the Author of confusion," says 
an Apostle. 

As God, of His mere mercy and goodness, conferred the 
Priesthood, in its most general and comprehensive sense, 
upon the whole nation of Israel, and upon all Christian 
people, so He could parcel out the several offices and degrees 
of that Priesthood in such manner and to such persons as to 
Him might seem most conducive to the accomplishment of 
His purposes of beneficence and love. We have seen how 
the Lord was pleased to distribute the duties of the Priestly 
function under the old law, and with what imposing sanctions 
He maintained the integrity of this arrangement from im- 
pertinent violation by any who would presume to intrude 
into the performance of parts and duties not assigned to them 
by the Divine order. Speaking of this very subject in the 
Christian Church, St. Paul inquires, "Are all Apostles? 
Are all Prophets? Are all Teachers?" (1 Cor. xii, 29.) 
Afterwards he adds, "For God is not the Author of confu- 
sion, but of peace, as in all Churches of the saints. (1 Cor. 
xiv, 33.) 

The teaching under the new dispensation is not like to that 
under the old, in systematic arrangement and particularity. 
The reason is, that the new dispensation presupposes the 
continuance of the former one, in those respects in which it 
is not done away by the principles or the injunctions of the 
new. Therefore the sanctions by which the Almighty was 
pleased to ratify and confirm the distribution which he had 
made of the duties and offices of the Priesthood, under the 
old law, should be regarded as decisive indications of His 
purpose that Christians should respect any distribution of 
the same duties which He has been pleased to make under 
the Evangelical economy. 

Our Church determines that God has appointed an order 


of men out of the general Christian Priesthood, to bt 
especially engaged in the sacred functions of that Priest- 
hood, and that He has ordained a subordination of rank and 
authority in the order thus specially set apart. As all Chris- 
tian people are Priests and a Priesthood, so the ordained 
Ministers of the sanctuary are more especially so, in so far 
and in such particulars as their office and authority to min- 
ister in holy things exceeds that of the people at large. 
Their Priesthood differs, not in kind, but in degree, from 
that of the Christian community. For all are sanctified, all 
are set apart, and permitted to offer sacrifices unto the Lord. 
But whatever the Minister may do which the private Chris- 
tian may not do, in that particular does the Minister exercise 
the Priestly function in a more eminent manner than the 
layman. And, therefore, according to that accommodated 
use of language which prevailed under the old dispensation, 
and has been perpetuated under the new, those who are 
appointed thus specially and eminently to exercise Priestly 
functions may be termed, by restriction, Priests; and their 
order, the order of Priesthood. 

But in strictness of speech, the Priesthood belongs to all. 
In every act of sacerdotal function the people participate 
with the Minister. They are joint offerers. The Sacrament 
of Baptism is not ordinarily to be administered without the 
congregation, which unites with the Minister in the dedica- 
tion of the child and in the invocation of the Holy Ghost, 
although the Minister alone is authorized to affix the seal of 
God upon the subject. So in the Eucharist, the prayer of 
consecration and the entire service are said in the common 
name of the whole congregation, except the absolution and 
the benediction, in both of which the Minister assumes the 
exclusive character imposed upon him to speak in the name 
%nd by the authority of Christ. 

the lord's supper. 269 

Slight as is the distinction between the offices of the Priest- 
hood, common to the whole people, and those appropriated 
to a particular order, very important consequences have been 
made dependent on its maintenance, and God requires us to 
respect His pleasure and His wisdom in ordaining that dis- 
tinction. The plea of necessity is often urged as a reason 
for setting aside the appointments of God. That this plea 
may be justly urged, in cases where individual preservation 
is in conflict with some provision of ceremonial law, is taught 
us by the example of David, who was permitted to eat the 
show-bread. This instance comes under the principle that 
God will have mercy rather than sacrifice. But where the 
alleged necessity is only a supposed danger of religion itself; 
where one positive institution is violated in order to preserve 
another positive institution, which is supposed to be in 
danger, there the case of Uzzah seems to have been recorded 
for our instruction and warning. (1 Chron. xiii.) This man 
verily thought that the Ark of God was about to be over- 
turned. Now all the sacredness of the Ark was derived 
from God's positive institution. There was nothing to be 
hallowed in it but the integrity of that institution. The ap- 
prehension of Uzzah proceeded from distrust of the Provi- 
dence of God in the preservation of His own appointment. 
In order to supply this supposed deficiency of Divine care 
and power, the officious servant breaks the institution of the 
Almighty in one point in order to preserve it in another. 
He put forth his hand, not consecrated to that service, to save 
the ark from falling. His presumption was punished with 
instant death. This single instance effectually disposes of all 
those undiscovered islands which have been ingeniously sug- 
gested as a sufficient apology for the violation of one of God's 
positive appointments in order to maintain another. Baptism 
and the Lord's Supper derive their whole efficacy from the 


positive institution of God. They have no natural or in- 
herent power to do good. Their virtue depends upon the 
integrity of the institution. Where the Author of that in- 
stitution has not provided or allowed to us the means for its 
preservation, He does not require it at our hands, or restrain 
His grace to these ordinary channels of grace. The same 
Divine power that ordained the Sacraments can sanctify and 
save us without them, where the institution can not be main 
tained in its integrity. For one, unauthorized by the Divine 
appointment, to administer these Sacraments, because the 
proper Minister can not be obtained, is the very presumption 
of Uzzah. God has the positive institutions of religion in 
His own keeping and under His own care. All that He re- 
quires of any one of us is obedience, and fidelity, and zeal, 
and earnestness, in the discharge of that ministry to which 
we have been respectively called. He will not hold us respon- 
sible for the administration of functions not committed to 
our charge, and He will not lightly look upon our intrusion 
into offices to which we have not been appointed. 

It is urged as an objection to the views above presented of 
Sacrifice and the Priesthood, that some theological writers 
arbitrarily restrict the meaning of these titles to a propitia- 
tor?/ sacrifice, and to a propitiator?/ Priest. But we have seen 
that, in this sense, there never was but One Sacrifice and One 
Priest. We have seen also that this restricted sense is not 
the proper or the derivative meaning of these words; that 
this is not their Scriptural use, or their popular use. 

Again, it is said that Romanists use the words in this 
restricted sense, and that to be as unlike them as possible we 
must not use these words at all, even in their proper and 
legitimate sense. But this canon would require us to give 
up the Bible itself, and a great many other good things 
which Romanists have perverted and abused. The words, in 

the lord's supper. 271 

their true and legitimate meaning, have been so incorporated 
into the common speech of men, and are so prominently used 
in the very charter of our salvation, that it is idle to think 
of removing them from the language. They are appropriate 
and significant, and they will be employed in the language 
of religion as long as there is any religion. Let us not aid 
the adversary of men, in his effort to confound truth with 
error, by permitting these words of universal use and accepta- 
tion to be identified with the most stupid of the errors which 
have disgraced the heathen and the Romish apostasies. 

g 4. the Pow- The power of Absolution conferred upon 
eb of absolu- the Ministry of reconciliation is more speeifi- 

tiox Committed . . . . . . n 

to the peiest- cally set forth in these remarkable words ihan 
H00D - elsewhere : 

"And when he had said this he breathed on th.eni, and 
saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosesoever 
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever 
sins ye retain, they are retained." (St. John xx, 22-23.) 

The conflicting views which have prevailed upon this sub- 
ject present another instance of the tendency of the human 
mind, on account of its fondness for simplicity, to run out a 
single truth into grievous error, rather than be at the pains 
to combine into harmony several apparently conflicting 

One party maintains, or seems to maintain, that the power 
of the Priest to forgive sins is plenary and absolute, and that 
his act is final and conclusive. Another party, knowing that 
God alone can forgive sins, that forgiveness is of necessity 
the mind and act of God toward the sinner, and shocked by 
the presumption and impiety of the claim of the Priesthood, 
as above stated, vehemently affirm that the Ministry has 
nothing to do with the matter, and that the forgiveness of 
sins is purely a transaction between a man and his God. 


Of course, this latter assertion denies all sense or meaning 
to the solemn declaration of our Lord just quoted, and is in- 
consistent with other parts of the Divine word. Let us try 
to harmonize the truth that is in these opposing assertions. 

Forgiveness is essentially the mind and act of an offended 
party toward the offender. None but God, therefore, can 
forgive sins against God. But the whole Gospel of salvation 
is a declaration of the forgiveness of sins, through Jesus 
Christ, our Lord. This is its distinguishing and glorious 
feature. This Gospel every where treats man according to 
his nature, a being composed of soul and body. Its saving 
truths are not conveyed in abstract propositions merely to the 
intellect. They are embodied into sensible forms, living and 
enduring facts, which the whole man, sense and spirit alike, 
may perceive and recognize. 

The great truth of the Gospel — the forgiveness of sins — 
is contained and authoritatively set forth and effectually con 
veyed in both the Sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. 
The Ministers of Christ are the authorized administrators of 
these Sacraments, and the power of absolution is, therefore, 
an essential part of their official duty. 

So important and all concerning in the economy of redemp- 
tion is this great fact of the forgiveness of sins, that the 
blessed Jesus deemed it wise, even beside the institution of 
the Sacraments of remission, to make it a special and promi- 
nent part of the commission to His ministers. These minis- 
ters thus become the living, visible representatives of the 
mercy of God in Jesus Christ. The pardoning grace of God 
^s embodied in that living Ministry, so that men may con- 
tinually see, hear, and feel the truth, in the very presence, 
the words, the actions and the influence of this order of men, 
whose perpetual existence in the world is promised by Him 
who cannot deceive. 

THE lord's supper. 273 

Yet absolution, either in its most solemn and authoritative 
form by the Sacraments, or otherwise, is of necessity but 
declarative. The act of any ambassador can be no more 
than an authorized declaration of the mind and purpose of 
his government. And Romish theologians admit this conse- 
quence by affirming that the absolution is null and void if 
not accompanied by the required conditions of faith and 
penitence on the part of the sinner. 

The commission is given in full and confiding terms, with- 
out the expression of those exceptions which, as they grow 
necessarily out of the relations of the parties and the nature 
of the case, are inevitably implied and did not require to be 
expressed. The commission assumes common honesty and 
fair intelligence on the part of those who exercise the min- 
istry of reconciliation. These will ordinarily enable them 
to discriminate between the sincere seekers of God's favor, 
the hypocritical pretenders, and the self-deceived; so that 
they may comfort and guide the first class, repel the second, 
and strive to tear away the veil from the hearts of the third. 
That Ministry thus shows forth, in living forms, and in indis- 
soluble association with human sympathies and human intel- 
ligence, the goodness and mercy of God in the forgiveness 
of sins through Him who taketh away the sin of the world. 
The man who, having heard the Gospel, refuses to receive 
the pardoning grace of God through the appointed channels 
of that grace, despises the Author of salvation, and must 
perish in his presumptuous pride. 

That fearful abuse of this gracious provision for our ne- 
cessity, which relies upon the mere Priestly declaration of 
pardon, as sufficient and effectual, without the essential con- 
ditions of penitence and faith, we have considered in a former 
chapter, when treating of the pseudo-sacrament of Penance. 
The necessary qualification of the power of absolution, 


admitted by Romish theologians, allowing it to be null and 
void when unaccompanied by faith and penitence, makes the 
absolution just that which we have described it, the author- 
ized declaration of the great purpose of the Gospel, and so 
satisfies the more intelligent members of that communion; 
while the general claim, in its most unqualified form, imposes 
upon the ignorant and becomes a potent instrument of 
Priestly domination over the masses of the people. 
3 5. institu- All the bloody sacrifices of the old law 
tion of the were coimneiiiorative of the promise of re- 
demption, and faintly shadowed the real pro- 
pitiatory Sacrifice, by which redemption was to be made. By 
the living victim offered up and slain, and by the blood of 
the victim poured forth, the Great Atonement was typi- 
cally represented. When Messiah came He thereby deter- 
mined and put an end to the memorials by which His coming 
had been prefigured. A new kingdom of Priests was about 
to be established, chosen out of every nation, and consecrated 
by the blood of Christ to offer sacrifice unto God. Jesus 
chose twelve men, "whom also He called Apostles," to be the 
chiefs, and after Him the founders of this new kingdom. 
With these twelve the blessed Savior, on the very day in 
which He was to fulfill the former dispensation and accom- 
plish the whole system of types and shadows, engaged in 
keeping the paschal feast. This was the most eminent of 
the typical representations of Himself; the Paschal Lamb 
signifying the body and the blood of the promised and only 
true expiatory sacrifice for sin. 

While they were feasting upon this Sacrifice, the real 
Priest and the real Victim, so faintly represented by it, insti- 
tuted, in place of this and of all the bloody sacrifices of the 
law, the Sacrifice and the Memorial, thenceforth to be made 
under the new dispensation. For, "as they were eating 

THE lord's supper. 275 

Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and ^avc it to 
the disciples, saying, Take, eat, Tins is my body, which is 
given for you; DO Tins in remembrance of me. Likewise 
after supper He took the cup; and when He had given 
thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for 
this is my Blood, of the new testament, which is shed for 
you, and for many, for the remission of sins; do this, as oft 
as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me." 

The Paschal Lamb was no longer to be killed in anticipa- 
tion of the death of Christ, the true Passover: for He, the 
very Paschal Lamb of God, was now about to be slain. The 
blood of immolated victims was no longer to represent the 
precious blood of the Savior of sinners. But this bread 
henceforth shall represent the body given for the life of the 
world. This cup henceforth shall represent the all cleansing 
blood of the Son of God. Christians were hereafter to do 
this, to oifer bread and wine to God, and to feast upon them, 
as the only instituted memorial of the death of the one only 
satisfaction for sin. And from the day of Pentecost to this 
hour, Christian people have made this memorial before God. 
By doing that which He commanded, by this sacrifice, they 
have "showed forth the Lord's death" till now, and they will 
continue to do it "until He come." 

By this instituted action Christians do continually manifest 
their faith in the great atonement and their reliance upon it; 
and they thus plead before the Mercy Seat of the Eternal 
Father the all-sufficient merit of the one perfect sacrifice for 
sin made upon the Cross. The meritorious sacrifice, thus 
represented to the Divine Majesty, God has ever been gra- 
ciously pleased to accept, and to knit together by His 
Spirit into the one mystical body of His Son all who 
faithfully and devoutly make this memorial which He hath 


This Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ is a trufi 
Sacrifice, because it is an offering of the fruits of the earth 
to God. These gifts are consecrated, made holy, made a sac- 
rifice — all which are equivalent expressions — when they are 
presented by the Christian people as an oblation to the 

This Sacrament is a true Commemorative Sacrifice, because 
when the words of institution are pronounced by the lawful 
Minister, these fruits of the earth, these gifts which we have 
first offered to the Lord, are changed from their original 
character into real and effective representatives of the body 
and blood of Christ; and in that new relation are again pre- 
sented to our Heavenly Father, as a more acceptable oblation, 
as a sweet smelling savor, as a precious memorial before God 
of the meritorious sacrifice of His Son, our Lord. 

This Sacrament is a Eucharistic Sacrifice, because it con- 
tains within it the solemn oblation to God of the worship 
and obedience, of the praises and thanksgivings, of the 
hearts and lives, of the souls and bodies, of all who are en- 
gaged therein. 

The Sacrifice having been thus made complete, then, 
according to the blessed and gracious institution of Christ, 
the worshippers are invited to draw near, to feast upon the 
sacrifice, to partake of the gifts which they have offered unto 
the Lord. Thus they enter anew into covenant with God — 
thus they are admitted into the most perfect, intimate and 
endearing communion with Him whom they worship and 

In each part and stage of this sublime institution the Holy 
Ghost is the present and effective Administrator. He puts it 
into the hearts of the people to offer. He consecrates them, 
and the gifts which they bring, to their respective offices. 
He changes the elements from their mere natural character 

the lord's supper. 277 

into their instituted meaning and significance. He makes the 
reception of the bread and wine by the faithful to be the 
communion of the body and blood of Christ, in all their 
saving power and efficacy. u Having, therefore, brethren, 
boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by 
a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, 
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, and having a High 
Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true 
heart, in the full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed 
with pure water." (Heb. x, 19-22.) 
, „ _ „ Bloody sacrifices were first instituted as 

g G. The Ro- j 

mtsh Doctrine types of the one atonement to be made upon 
or Sackiftce. Calvary, and as expressions of the faith of 
men in that promised atonement. But the institution was 
soon perverted by the foolish hearts of men into an imagined 
'propitiation for sin, the offerings being supposed to have an 
intrinsic value in the sight of the Deity. This perverted 
notion led at last to the sacrifice of men and of children, as 
the most costly and acceptable offerings. Even the chosen 
people were often guilty of this great abomination, for which 
they were severely reproved. 

In spite of the emphatic warning contained in the heathen 
apostasy, and in direct opposition to many strong declarations 
of the New Testament, affirming that but one propitiatory 
sacrifice for sin has ever been made, the new Bomish creed 
asserts that "In the Mass there is offered to God a true, 
proper and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead." 
— Creed of Pope Pius IV. 

The doctrine thus broadly stated in the Creed of Boman- 
ism is the precise form of the ancient heathen apostasy from 
the truth. It attempts to change the Memorial which God 
has instituted of the One Sacrifice for sin, which He had 


provided, into that One Sacrifice for sin. The heathen, by 
stupidly supposing the instituted types of the promised 
Atonement to be a real propitiation and satisfaction to the 
Divine Majesty, degraded the character of the Supreme 
Being by representing Him to be such an one as themselves, 
capable of being appeased with the fat of fed beasts. The 
Romish corruption does the same thing in a different way. 
In order to make the commemorative sacrifice of the One 
Atoning Sacrifice, itself a propitiation and satisfaction for 
sins, the theory stultifies human nature, and thereby insults 
and degrades the Divine Majesty, for man was made in the 
image of God. This theory, which goes under the name of 
transubstantiation, declares that the bread and wine of the 
Sacrament are "truly, really and substantially the body and 
blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus 
Christ," so that the things which seem to be bread and wine 
are no longer so; but "that there is made a conversion of the 
whole substance of the bread into the body, of the whole 
substance of the wine into the blood." — Creed of Pius IV. 

To believe this is to contradict the evidence of all the 
senses, and thereby to destroy the only means which God has 
given us of knowing any thing. If we are not to believe 
the concurrent testimony of all the senses, then the founda- 
tions of faith, as well as of science, are taken away, and all 
truth and all knowledge are at an end. 

One of the most familiar and profitable parts of the 
Romish religion is founded upon the dogma above cited, that, 
"In the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper and pro- 
pitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead." At the death 
of every Romanist all the feelings of affection and piety of 
the surviving relatives are excited, to bring this dogma into 
play, for the release of the soul of the deceased from purga- 
tory by the purchase of a sufficient number of masses to be 


»aid in his behalf. This is the known and admitted conse- 
quence of the dogma, familiarly practised upon without 
scruple or doubtfulness every day. Such a consequence is 
evidently destructive of all correct notions even of natural 
religion, and confounds all reasonable apprehensions of the 
relations between God and His offending creature. But if 
this doctrine of sacrifice in the Mass and the corresponding 
doctrine of transubstantiation be true, then it is certain that 
every sale of a Mass, however disguised, is an actual sale of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and every Priest who offers the sacri- 
fice of the Mass for a reward re-enacts the part of the traitor 
Judas, and receives for his wages the price of blood. 

- 7 The Sac . Jesus Christ, being God and Man, is the 
bament of the medium of reunion between the Divine and 

oed s uppeii k m nature. The Divine Life which men 

is the Partici- 
pation of receive to make them the children of God 

and the heirs of heaven, is bestowed by the 
communication to them of the Divine and human nature of 
their Lord and ^Savior. Christ himself has ascended into 
heaven, and He declared that "it was expedient" for us that 
He should go there, in order that He might send the Holy 
Ghost to be the effective Agent in the commencement and 
consummation of the union between Christ and His people. 
We know from many places of the Divine Word that Christ 
is to remain at the right hand of God, to be our High Priest 
and effectual Intercessor until He shall come again to judge 
the world in righteousness. Until this second Advent of 
Christ, the Spirit is the sole efficient minister of Christ's 
kingdom in the world. By the mysterious oneness of the 
Divine nature, where the Spirit is, there also is the Father 
and the Son. Through the Spirit the Father and the Son 
take up their abode, as Christ has promised, with those who 
love Him. (St. John xiv, 23.) By the Spirit is the blessed 


Savior always with the Ministry He has established. (St 
Matt, xxviii, 20.) By the Spirit is He present with the twc 
or three gathered together in His name. (St. Matt, xviii, 20.) 
By the Eternal Spirit, sent into our hearts, is that mysterious 
union effected between Christ and His people, which consti- 
tutes the hope and the life of man. Many are the ways by 
which this union is begun, strengthened and completed, but 
in all of them "worketh that one and the self-same Spirit." 
(1 Cor. xii, 11.) It is the Spirit which broods over the 
waters of Baptism, and incorporates the child of Adam into 
the body of Christ. (1 Cor. xii, 13.) By the ministration 
of the same Spirit we continually receive the communication 
of the body and blood of Christ to nourish our souls and 
bodies to everlasting life. For He saith, " I am that bread 
of life. He that eateth me even he shall live by me. Because 
I live ye shall live also." (St. John vi, 48, 57; xiv, 19.) 

This is a declaration of the simple truth of the provision 
made for our salvation, without any explanation of the mode 
of the Spirit's operation in the production* of these Divine 
effects. This revelation of the fact is enough for faith, which 
implicitly relies upon the word of eternal truth. The plain 
manifestation of a fact is all that men require in regard to 
the phenomena of external nature. But the vain wisdom 
and the licentious curiosity of men disdain the humble and 
appropriate faith in religion which they are content to exer- 
cise in nature. By the effective ministration of the Spirit 
the same Christ, who is our life, becomes our spiritual food 
and drink in the Sacrament of His body and blood. Here 
is a deep mystery — the mode of the spiritual communication 
of the body and blood of Christ is hard to understand. 
A.nd forthwith, out of this difficulty there arise two schools 
of theology, each one seeking in Its own way to remove the 

the lord's supper. 281 

A mistake is sometimes made here by the defenders of 
the truth, in regard to the place in this transaction wherein 
the mystery lies. The mystery consists iu the communica- 
tion of the life of Christ to men. This mystery pervades 
the whole scheme of redemption. St. Paul assures us that 
the members of the ancient Church "did all eat the same 
spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for 
they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and 
that Rock was Christ." (1 Cor. x, 3, 4.) It is only the 
same great mystery which reappears in all its force and ofi'en- 
siveness to human pride, in each one of the appointed 
agencies and channels for its accomplishment. How Christ 
can be formed in our hearts by the Spirit, and how the life, 
thus derived, can be fed and nourished by the body and 
blood of Christ imparted in the Sacrament, are only parts of 
the same continuous and ever recurring mystery which runs 
through the whole plan of salvation. The mystery does not 
lie at all, as we shall see, in the plain and simple words of 
Christ when He instituted this Sacrament. These words are 
familiar, intelligible, and of universal use; and nothiug but 
the merest wantonness of interpretation can find any diffi- 
culty in them. The real difficulty and mystery lie behind 
the words, in the fact that any material agency can be the 
means of conveying the life of God and the nourishment of 
that life into the soul of man. 

One of the schools to which I have referred disposes of 
this whole mystery of salvation by quietly resolving all the 
expressions which indicate it into mere Eastern metaphor 
and hyperbole. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, they 
say, is nothing more than a memento to put us in mind of 
the event which transpired on Calvary eighteen hundred 
years ago, and to assist us to apprehend the reality of thai 


An opposite school proposes a theory of the mode of the 
communication of the body and blood of Christ to us, and 
thereby reduces a sublime spiritual mystery to an absurd, 
bungling and contradictory physical hypothesis. 

I have said that the words of institution of this Sacrament 
present no difficulty and involve no other mystery than the 
general one, that the life of our souls is derived solely from 
union with the Divine and human nature of Christ, and that 
it must be nourished and completed by constituted external 

The symbolical delivery of a thing, as being effective to 
pass the possession and property of that thing, has been 
common in all nations and ages. The delivery of a key, 
when so expressed, is a delivery of the house. The delivery 
of a little twig becomes, by positive institution, the delivery 
of a whole tract of land. Every day the entire property and 
full possession of landed estates are given, in this country, 
by the delivery of a piece of paper, called a deed. To this 
universal custom of mankind all language has been framed, 
and no one ever thinks of misunderstanding the person who 
calls the instituted symbol of a thing by the name of the 
thing itself. So we perfectly understand the Apostle when 
he says, "that Rock was Christ." So our Savior spoke, in 
precise accordance with the universal language of mankind, 
when delivering the new symbols of His body and blood, He 
said, "This is my body," &c. The words were the plainer 
because they had just been engaged in feeding upon the 
instituted symbols of the same body and blood under the 
economy then about to be terminated. By the mighty power 
of the Holy Ghost, the instituted symbol becomes, to the 
worthy recipient, the communication of the body and blood 
of Christ. Human incredulity will not receive this Divine 
mystery unless it can understand how the communication ia 

the lord's supper. 283 

effected. Therefore it invents the debasing hypothesis that 
the symbol is actually destroyed, and that the flesh, and blood, 
and soul, and divinity of the blessed Jesus are in the paten 
and in the chalice, in place of the symbol, although all the 
appearances of bread and wine remain. 

This extravagant conceit, by which the nature of a Sacra- 
ment is entirely overturned, was at first but a wanton 
speculation of the schoolmen. In the gradual progress of 
corruption it has become, with a large sect, an article of faith, 
to be held on pain of damnation. 

By the universal construction of human language, the 
words of our Lord were always plain and simple; but the 
usages of modern society make them even more familiar and 
intelligible than formerly. Take a bank note, promising to 
pay five dollars. We call it five dollars; and it is five dol- 
lars, in virtue and effect. But why do we call it, and why is 
it, virtually, five dollars? Because, being a genuine docu- 
ment, issued by competent authority, it truly represents five 
dollars. It has the power and worth of five dollars wherever 
the drawer is known. Instead of its being an abuse of lan- 
guage to call this paper five dollars, it is the most common 
and approved, and universal form of speech, and every one 
understands the meaning of that form. But here comes in 
the theory of transubstantiation, and kindly undertakes to 
explain to us why it is proper to call this note five dollars. 
To make this language correct and intelligible, it says, you 
must believe that the paper and the engraving, and the signa- 
tures, are all gone; the accidents of these things indeed 
remain, but the substance is gone; what you really hold in 
your hand now is five round pieces of silver, with the United 
States stamp of one dollar on each ! Such stolid folly was 
bad enough when considered merely as the trifling of literary 
and scholastic subtlety; but what shall we think of it when 


such fantasies are made first the watchword of a party 
in the Church of Christ, and then the symbol of a sect 
which imposes this as an article of faith essential to sal- 
vation ! 

If we apply this same illustration to the first mentioned 
process of getting rid of the mystery in the Lord's Supper, 
which is known by the name of the Zuinglian hypothesis, we 
ehall find our bank note to be neither five silver dollars nor 
the effective representative of that sum, but merely a me- 
mento to put us in mind of five dollars. 

The subject of religion is so awful and overwhelming that 
there is constant danger of allowing the reason to be put in 
abeyance by loud and boastful pretenses, and by imposing 
assumptions. All that God has revealed, as well as all that 
He has made, is above our reason. Nothing that He has 
revealed or made is contrary to it. Our Heavenly Father 
appeals to the reason of His children for the manifestation 
of the truth. The religion which He has revealed leads to 
the highest cultivation of the reason; and if that religion 
stultified the nature it has so highly exalted, it would be self- 

It is a blessed and glorious truth, that Christ in this Sacra- 
ment does, by His Spirit, impart Himself to His people, and 
give to them the saving might and purifying excellency of 
His body and blood. Because this is a spiritual operation 
it is not the less, but the more real. No carnal union could 
be so perfect, or so enduring, as the spiritual union which is 
thus effected. The actual union of the corporeal elements 
with our bodies — the type of the spiritual union between Christ 
and the soul — is itself but transient. The spiritual union is 
for eternity. How this miracle of grace is accomplished, 
how the Spirit acts here, as in all other instances of His 
ministration, faith asks not, but meekly receives the benefit 

the lord's supper. 285 

and humbly adores the Savior God, whose infinite bounty 
bestows this wondrous gift. 

The qualifications of persons to be admitted to this Sac- 
rament are precisely the same as for the admission of adults 
I 8. qualifi- to Baptism and Confirmation. These several 
cations foe institutions are all designed to be, on our part, 

Partaking of & r ' 

this Sacrament, a full, entire, and hearty submission of our- 
selves to the service and obedience of Christ. The natural 
effect, independent of the supernatural grace, of such a 
solemn, external and public confession of Christ, and pledge 
of fealty and obedience to Him, is, in each one of these 
instances, to increase, strengthen and deepen the feelings 
thus strongly exercised. In regard to this important natural 
effect, the Lord's Supper has a very great advantage over its 
connected institutions, in that they are to be used but once, 
while this must be continually repeated. To the question, 
"What is required of those who come to the Lord's Sup- 
per?" the Catechism answers, "To examine themselves, 
whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stead- 
fastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in 
God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance 
of His death, and be in charity with all men." 

Any one can see that such a self-examination as this, con- 
tinually recurring, and faithfully conducted, under the influ- 
ences of this most solemn institution, and issuing in a 
renewed public self-dedication to the cause of Christ and 
of righteousness, is the most effectual natural means of im- 
provement and of moral progress that can be conceived of, 
To secure the full benefit of this natural efficacy of the insti- 
tution, the Minister is required to give notice of the Com 
munion upon the Sunday or other Holy-day preceding, and 
to exhort the people to a due preparation for this Holy Sac- 
rament. The searching and comprehensive language of tht, 


two exhortations in the Prayer book, appointed lor this pur- 
pose, make one of the best manuals for the assistance of 
those who are preparing for the Holy Communion. But the 
general principles therein set forth are carried out into 
minute details, and very important and valuable directions, 
in many other private manuals which holy men have pre- 
pared and published from time to time. Some one of these 
should be the closet companion of every communicant. 

When we add to this natural effect the supernatural grace 
that is surely pledged to every faithful receiver of these holy 
mysteries, every Christian must see how he wrongs his own 
soul, and keeps up the barrier between himself and heaven, 
by neglecting to avail himself of every opportunity of using 
this Divinely provided appliance for his salvation. The 
great end of this, as of all the doctrines and institutions of 
Christian religion, is to produce in each subject of redemp- 
tion the mind and character of Christ. Our distance below 
this exalted standard of excellence is infinite. How foolish 
and sinful then the waste of time and opportunity which will 
neglect this most eminent means of grace and growth, which 
God, of His infinite mercy, has provided for our necessity! 




The Bible emphatically announces that "There is One 
Body and One Spirit, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, 
1 1. one Faith. One God and Father of all, who is above all, 
and through all, and in you all." (Ephes. iv, 4-6.) This 
is St. Paul's beautiful summary of the religion he preached. 
The same blessed unity is virtually contained in the great 
Charter of salvation, proclaimed by our Lord just before His 
ascension into heaven. That Charter reveals Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost — One God; commands one baptism in that 
mystic Name, thereby constituting One Body; and demands 
a true faith in the Divine Persons represented by that august 
name, as the triune Authors of our salvation, thereby re- 
quiring One certain and definite Faith, and not a multiplicity 
of variable or discordant beliefs. We are now to examine 
the provision made by the Divine care for this prescribed 
unity of faith. 

It is plain that the prescription, "One Faith," demands 
that the Faith should be the same for each believer, and the 
same in every age, from the beginning to the end of this dis- 
pensation. One faith for the man of learning, and another 
for the unlettered man, would be in direct conflict with this 
Divinely ordained unity. So, one faith for the first cen- 
tury, another for the fourth, and another for the nineteenth, 


does not meet this requirement, but is a flagrant subversion 
of it. 

To solve these, and some other difficulties, we must recol- 
lect that Christian faith is not that which a man may believe, 
or which he ought to believe, but — that which he must believe 
in order to be saved. A man may and ought to believe 
whatever seems to him to be true. As there are incalculable 
diversities of knowledge among men, and a constant progress 
of knowledge in successive ages, the ordinary beliefs of men 
are almost infinitely varied. And this is true, to a large ex- 
tent, in the kingdom of grace as well as in the kingdom of 
nature. The two. books of God, by which He speaks to 
man — the world of nature and the Holy Bible — convey a 
vast and comprehensive learning, extending from the begin- 
ning of the creation to the end of time. The faith of those 
who look into each of these Divine records necessarily differs, 
according to the opportunity of each one to study, and the 
capacity of each to comprehend, the facts and mysteries con- 
tained in them. The belief of the man of science, in the 
department of natural phenomena, differs immeasurably, in 
quantity and quality, from the belief of the plodding plow- 
man. The knowledge conveyed by that other Divine reve- 
lation, the Holy Scriptures, requires for its complete mastery 
a vast array of subsidiary learning and a large expenditure 
of time and intelligence. The belief of the theologian, who 
has devoted to the study of the Scriptures this learning, time 
and intelligence, of necessity embraces a large body of par- 
ticulars which the unlearned Christian has never heard of, 
much less believed. Now, how are these two classes of Chris- 
tian people to have One Faith? The answer to this question 
solves several theological puzzles, and settles some inveterate 

The correct answer to this question determines, by a logical 


necessity, the mooted point of essentials in religion. Some 
Romish theologians, and several popular denominations, to 
sustain their common denial of the sufficiency of the ancient 
creed, undertake to maintain that there are no essentials in 
religion to be distinguished from the whole body of revealed 
truth. The learned Palmer, in his laborious collections upon 
this subject, unhappily confuses it. His own declarations 
seem to be at variance with important principles which he 
had elsewhere established, and exhibit an unaccountable 
avoidance of the real question. He says: "We cannot, 
without temerity, divide the doctrines which He has revealed 
into those which may be denied, and those which may be be- 
lieved. Independently of the rashness and folly of such a 
distinction, made without any authority of Revelation, its im- 
piety is manifest, as it in effect constitutes man the judge of 
God himself." (Palmer on the Church, vol. i, p. 101. 
American edition.) 

The Church of Christ, ever since her foundation, has been 
guilty of this alleged impiety, and Mr. Palmer, as one of her 
Ministers, has officially enacted it every time that he admin- 
istered the Sacrament of Baptism. For the only faith which 
he is permitted to require of any one, as the condition of ad- 
mission into the kingdom of heaven, is set forth in the 
question, "Dost thou believe all the articles of the Christian 
faith, as contained in the Apostles' Creed?" The Church 
has thus, in the sphere of the Gredenda, the things to be 
believed, decided the question of essentials in religion, 
authoritatively, and as a public fact, to be known and ob- 
feerved of all men. The Christian faith, as contained in the 
Apostles' Creed, or in its equivalent, the Nicene Creed, has 
been thus prominently distinguished from all other revealed 
truths, from the beginning, by the whole Church. And this, 
not arbitrarily, but by the express command of her Lord in 


the great Charter of her foundation. "He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved : he that believeth not shall be 

This command raised the question, tJwn once for all to be 
authoritatively decided by the Church, what must be believed 
under this awful sanction? Not surely the whole Divine 
Revelation, which had been accumulating for so many 
thousand years, the greater part of which was then locked 
up in a dead language, and another large portion of which 
was not contained in any writing until many years after the 
Church had executed all over the civilized world her com- 
mission to baptize into the required belief. To have de- 
manded such a belief as this would have been an impossible 
condition of salvation to the mass of mankind. Only a very 
few of the very learned could have attempted a compliance 
with it. 

The previous words of the charter define the designated 
object of belief. "Disciple all nations, baptizing them in 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 

But these names would have had no intelligible meaning 
without an explanation. To tell who was meant by Father, Son, 
and Holy Grhost, and what each one of these Divine Persons 
had done "for us men, and for our salvation," was a duty im- 
peratively imposed upon the Church by her Lord, in order 
to make this belief a real and intelligent act. To make the 
same belief also a common act, adapted to all classes and to 
all grades of learning and capacity, this information must be 
expressed in such plain, comprehensive and brief terms, that 
all could learn and retain it, as the ever present object of 
faith, the firm rock on which the soul could rest and be at 
peace, undisturbed and unmoved by the changes and vagaries 
and surging billows of the tempest-tossed world. 


Such a brief formula of the saving faith, which all — 
learned and unlearned alike — could commit to memory, and 
constantly retain as the object of belief, is the perfect and 
the only possible solvent of the problem involved in the 
Divine prescription of One Faith. The profession of this 
faith by all believers, leaving outside of it that variable and 
indefinite number of beliefs which belong to diversities of 
learning and capacity, is thus a logical sequence of the Divine 
requirement of "One Faith," and a necessity of that require- 
ment. The same fixed and determined faith is contained, 
by a like logical necessity, in the Charter, commanding the 
Apostles and their successors to baptize into a belief. Unless 
the belief attached to this solemn Sacrament was positive, 
ascertained and definite, the whole transaction would have 
been an idle superstition, a mockery of God and man. 

By an equal logical necessity the terms of the Charter 
involve the conclusion that the faith in every age must be 
the same with the faith of the first age. Each Apostle was, 
therefore, compelled by his commission to give to every 
Church which he founded a formula containing this one faith, 
to be used by that Church and transmitted as a sacred deposit. 

The necessary oneness of the faith did not require a literal, 
but only a substantial sameness. If there were no evidence 
upon the subject, it would be a fair presumption that the 
Apostles used the same freedom and adaptation to circum- 
stances in the preparation of the Creed as in the composition 
of the Gospels. But the evidence of primitive antiquity is 
conclusive that the Apostles did use this freedom, securing 
substantial sameness with considerable diversity of language 
b.nd method. For, as it is the distinguishing excellence of 
the Christian Creed that it consists of facts, and not of specu- 
lations, so the existence of the Creed is itself a fact which 
wery particular Church in the world witnesses. 


Now, in the earliest ages we find, besides other literal vari- 
ations, two distinct and clearly marked types of the common 
Creed. For the practical and little learned Western nations 
the twelve facts contained in the Creed were set forth in the 
plainest and fewest words. While for the Eastern nations, 
familiar with the subtleties and refinements of many elaborate 
systems of theology, and distracted and wearied by their 
complications and uncertainties, the same facts are couched 
in terms more expressly meeting and denying these visionary 

It is true that in the scanty remains of the earliest Chris- 
tian antiquity which have come down to us, the notices of 
the Creed are but incidental. Sometimes only one or a few 
Articles are cited. Frequently the Articles given are accom- 
panied with a running commentary. But the fact of the 
existence of the Creed itself, and its paramount importance 
in every Church, every where appears. And there is no dif- 
ficulty at all in recovering from these incidental notices the 
two forms of the Creed which we now possess, and which are 
known as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. 

These are the unquestionable facts of Christian history in 
the ages preceding the first General Council. When heresies 
began to arise, when the subtle and restless Eastern mind 
began to work upon the Christian Revelation, and when in 
the recklessness of partisanship men tried to corrupt both 
the Scriptures and the Creed, a Council of all the Bishops 
was called to assemble at Nice in the year 325. Few of the 
Western Bishops attended this Council. It was mainly an 
Eastern Council to consider and rebuke an Eastern heresy. 
It has been too often said that this Council made a new Creed, 
or enlarged the old one, to meet this exigency in the history 
of the Church. The Nicene formula is by some considered 
and called an exposition of the Apostles' Creed, then for the 


first time prepared and published. All the facts of the case 
are against these assertions. 

Instead of being a new Creed, or an exposition of the did 
one, the Niceue formula is simply a critical revision, and a 
condensation rather than an enlargement, of the Creeds 
which we know to have been before immemorially professed 
in the Eastern Church. The history of the Council shows 
that the Bishops presented the Creeds of their respective 
Churches as their testimony to the ancient faith. These the 
Council seems to have examined and compared together, 
selecting from each the strongest, the most comprehensive, 
and the most fitting expressions of the common faith which 
they concurrently witnessed. Theodoret, one of the histo- 
rians of the Council, tells us, "The Bishops did not invent 
any expressions themselves, but having received the testimony 
of the Fathers, they wrote accordingly." He reports the 
Bishops as saying, "The faith which we hold is that which 
we have received from the Bishops who were before us, and 
in the rudiments of which we were instructed when we were 
baptized. (Theod., B. i, ch. 8, 12.) 

All the early Councils having thus, as witnesses, authori- 
tatively settled and published the most perfect form of the 
ancient Creed, they then, as composed of Doctors and Pas- 
tors set for the defense of the truth, proceeded to make an 
authoritative exposition of the Creed, and refutation of here- 
sies ; not by another Creed, but by a series of Definitions, by 
formal Propositions, by elaborate Decrees, and by Synodal 

The duties of the General Councils of the Church were 

1. They were assembled witnesses of the ancient faith of 
the Church. 2. They acted as a general legislature, to pro- 
vide for the pressing administrative exigencies of the Church 


in their days. 3. They were judicial bodies, acting as a 
court of last resort. 4. As a body of learned teachers well 
practised in the controversies of the times, they were exceed- 
ingly competent to define and explain the terms of the Creed, 
and to expose the injurious consequence in regard to the 
integrity of this faith of certain opinions and speculations 
which had been put forth by different persons." This last 
important office each of the Councils performed by embody- 
ing the opinions of its members in a variety of documents — 
synodal letters, formal definitions, &c. 

In the first character, as assembled witnesses of the Chris- 
tian faith, they simply declare and transmit to us that testi- 
mony to the faith which the Church was divinely commis- 
sioned to give to all generations of men. The same testimony 
might have been given without the intervention of any Coun- 
cil, as has indeed occurred by the uncorrupt transmission of 
the same faith in the Western Church in the Apostles' Creed. 
But that testimony is yet more satisfactorily given in the 
unanimous concurrence of so many early assemblies of the 
representatives of the Church. 

The articles of the faith thus witnessed are the only part 
of the acts of the Councils which are bound upon the con- 
sciences of all men to be believed as The Faith. The 
explanations and definitions of this faith, put forth by the 
Councils, carry the very highest persuasive authority to all; 
but only those few persons are bound to believe them whose 
learning and acuteness enable them to perceive that they are 
eliminations brought out, by a practised mind, of the con- 
tents of the several articles of the Creed. These definitions 
and distinctions, suggested in the first place by a great variety 
of heresies, stand like a firm intrenchment around the faith, 
a defense against every open and secret assault which the 
l ngenuity of future errorists may induce them to make. 


Every one of the early heresies arose from the attempt to 
press a particular truth too far. They were not bald and 
naked falsehoods, but were one-sided propositions. The dis- 
proportioned statement of one truth overturned by conse- 
quence some other truth. The subtle definitions of the 
Fathers, following and closely tracking the subtle distinctions 
of the heretics, point out the evil consequences of each suc- 
cessive error. So perfect and complete is the circle of these 
definitions, that it would be almost impossible now for human 
ingenuity to originate a plausible heresy which has not been 
already indicated and condemned by some one of them. 

A perusal of the acts of the several councils will show 
that the Fathers understood the different relations in which 
they stood to the Church, precisely as I have just stated 
them. The third General Council, held at Ephesus, A. D. 
431, put forth many very refined definitions of doctrine in 
the solemn form of anathemas. Yet, because some one had 
presumed to alter that part of the Creed which was collected 
and published by the Fathers at Nice, the Council clearly 
discriminates between its own definitions of the Creed and 
the Creed itself, by enacting this canon: "These things hav- 
ing been read, the holy Synod has determined that no person 
shall be allowed to bring forward, or to write, or to compose 
any other Creed besides that which was settled by the Holy 
Fathers, who were assembled in the city of Nice with the 
Holy Ghost. But those who shall dare to compose any other 
Creed, or to exhibit or produce any such to those who wish 
to turn to the acknowledgment of the truth, whether from 
Heathenism or from Judaism, or any heresy whatever, if they 
are bishops or clergymen they shall be deposed." 

No definitions of faith, however solemn, are ever calk d by 
these Councils The Creed, or placed upon an equality with 
Vhese immemorial confessions of the faith by the universal 


Church. The doctrines of the Creed, and they alone, pre- 
sent us with a full, natural, and connected sense for the 
whole Bible. Each of the articles of the Creed is thus 
proved by the Bible, more certainly and conclusively than by 
the citation of single texts of Scripture in its support. Take 
away any doctrine of the Creed from Christianity, and the 
Bible can no longer be fully understood. Hence the learned 
and ingenious effort to explain away or to get rid of portions 
of it. On the other hand, if any pretended article of the 
Creed could not be proved from the Bible, it would be cer* 
tain that such article was surreptitious. By this very process 
the Fathers were aided in exposing the fraud of those who 
had altered the ancient Creed. The Creed is the key which 
exactly fits and adapts itself to all the wards and divisions 
of the Word of God, and unlocks and brings to light the full, 
and glorious, and life-giving meaning of the whole of the 
Divine Word. Just as true Christianity, thus expounded 
and thus thoroughly understood, adapts itself to all the parts 
of our complex human nature, admitting all, allowing for all, 
and providing for all. This full and entire adaptation of 
Christianity to man proves that they are the common pro- 
duction of one Almighty Author, and that they were de- 
signed by Him for each other. So the fact that the doctrines 
of the Creed explain, illustrate, and give effect to all the 
parts of the Bible, proves that they are but varied represen- 
tations of the same Divine truth, and that each of these rep- 
resentations came from the inspiration of Him who is all-wise, 
and who thus provided for bringing the whole of His 
redeemed people to the perfect knowledge of the truth. 

The importance of a correct appreciation of the position 
of the Creed in Christianity, and the constant recurrence of 
errors upon this subject, make it advisable to examine a little 
further into its character and history. 

THE CREED. . 297 

Christianity is essentially the revelation of God, and of 
His relations to us in the matter of salvation. The Creec 1 
simply embodies this revelation, in briefest terms, and in a 
concrete and intelligible form. This summary of Divine 
Revelation does not tell us about the abstract Infinite and 
Absolute, the One, or the All, of which philosophy talks; 
but of Deity, as related to man : of God manifested, in His 
works of Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification; a reaJ 
and possible object, therefore, of human cognition, affection 
and worship. 

One of the most important issues now before the world is 
between the fact of one full and perfect Revelation of the 
truth, given by Christ and His Apostles, and the notion of a 
continuous inspiration and ever changing revelation, of which 
the Revelation contained in the Bible was a mere starting 
point. Romanism, Mormonism, and the latest Infidelity, as- 
sume the latter position. The Catholic Church has ever 
held, in her standards, the former alternative in this momen- 
tous issue. She maintains that the religion delivered to us 
by Christ and His Apostles is a perfect and finished revela- 
tion, sufficiently attested, by a concurrence of Divine Wit- 
nesses, to enable every man to know, with certainty, the 
things which he must believe in order to be saved. These 
Witnesses are, the Holy Scriptures: the Church, delivering 
to us now the same testimony in the Creed which she gave 
in the Apostolic age; and the Sacraments. Each one of these 
parts, muniments and witnesses of Christianity, stands upon 
the same foundation, and is sustained and assailed by the 
very same arguments. Christian writers give a mortifying 
advantage to infidelity when they gratuitously surrender the 
Divine authority of any one of these connected but inde- 
pendent witnesses to the truth. 

The truth, thus revealed in its fullness, is adapted to ah 


minds and to all stages of cultivation, to be contiuually the 
elevating power of humanity. The objective truth is one 
and unchangeable, yet boundless in its reach. It is so 
grandly simple as to be intelligible to the most ordinary 
capacity, thus raising the lowest stratum of society to a 
higher level ; while it is so sublime and comprehensive, that 
the most advanced minds may be carried forward to a more 
exalted position in an indefinite progression. The only de- 
velopment known to Christianity is in human nature itself, 
under the operation of the truth. There may be, and there 
ought to be, a continued development, in successive ages, of 
the capacity to apprehend and appropriate the one objective 
truth, by the subjects of its quickening power. And this 
result is shown very clearly by the most accomplished ene- 
mies of Christianity. Many of the speculations of these 
boasters of an enlightenment beyond the mark of Christian 
revelation, are but the revival of philosophic theories long 
ago tried and abandoned as worthless. But take their best 
achievements in religious and moral science, their truest and 
most beautiful thoughts, and they are either copies from the 
old Bible, or they are surpassed by the utterances of the 
Book of God on the same subject. 

90 rr, rr ,n T „ T „ The rash and rhetorical assertion of the 
not a Creed. great Chillingworth — "the Bible, the Bible 
alone, is the religion of Protestants" — has been abused and 
travestied into many grievous forms of error, utterly abhor- 
rent to the declared principles of the illustrious author of 
this sentence. 

One popular denomination in America has carried this 
notion apparently to its furthest extreme of irrationality, by 
maintaining that the Bible is the Christian Creed. We have 
already seen that the Bible is unfitted for such a purpose. 
The multifariousness of the contents of this inspired volume ; 


the appalling apparatus of varied learning and capacity re- 
quired for its complete comprehension; the innumerable ques- 
tions to be determined in regard to the genuineness and 
authenticity of every book, and of every verse of every 
book; the impossibility, on the part of the majority, of read- 
ing the Scriptures in their original languages, and the neces- 
sity of deciding upon the faithfulness of different translations: 
these, and many other insuperable difficulties, make it plain 
that the Bible is not and can not be a Creed, and was not 
intended to be that precise and definite proposal of certain 
truths, upon which every soul can repose for salvation. 
I 3. The Bible Perhaps, in contemplation of these difficul- 

NOT THE ONLY .. . , . , . n ., . . . 

Witness of the ties > tne niamtainer or this opinion may say, 
Creed. that he only meant that his Creed consists of 

those plain and simple truths which every man can find for 
himself in the Bible. This would be an abandonment of the 
fundamental principle of the denomination referred to, and 
is the prevailing notion of the members of all the popular 
denominations. It has its own difficulties. 

Many things will appear plain and certain to one class of 
minds which to another are obscure and doubtful. There 
results, therefore, from this rule, as many diversities of faith 
as there are varieties of learning, candor and discrimination 
among men. 

This conclusion, however, is controlled by another fact, 
viz, that men do not really as well as professedly go to the 
Scriptures with unoccupied minds to find a faith there. 
Those who renounce the authority of the Catholic Church 
are nevertheless under the influence of some sect, and they 
go to the Scriptures with the prepossessions fostered by the 
Beet, and they are very apt to fancy that they find the doc- 
trines of the sect very clearly revealed in the Scriptures. 

Such a principle as this, even with the modification just 


mentioned, making the Scriptures seemingly to reveal, with 
equal clearness, so many opposing dogmas, shows that the 
Scriptures were not intended to be alone in witnessing to the 
saving truth which they reveal, and vindicates the wisdom 
of God in constituting other and concurrent witnesses to the 
same truth, against the folly of those who have despised the 
Divine provision and profanely put asunder the things which 
God had joined together. 

This concurring but subsidiary testimony of the Creed 
does not place it upon an equal footing of authority with 
Scripture, as has been objected. The Creed is not pro- 
posed as a separate revelation from the Scriptures. It is 
the dogmatic decision of the whole Church, declaring the 
same saving truth so largely and variously revealed in the 
Scriptures. It comes to us with Divine authority, because 
the Church pronounced it, by the Divine command, while yet 
inspired men were the earthly rulers of that Church. If the 
Church did not act in this determination of the things to be 
believed with Divine authority, then her refusal to admit 
into the way of salvation all who do not profess this faith 
has been a cruel and impious usurpation of the Divine pre- 
rogative from the beginning until now. Instead of imputing 
this wrong to God's own institution, we must see and admire 
in this provision the Divine care which has placed the faith 
of every child of God upon a basis which cannot be moved, 
and saves every faithful soul from the uncertainties, contra- 
dictions, and impieties which have resulted from the neglect 
of this provision of infinite wisdom and goodness. 
I 4. The Creed The principle of ecclesiastical development 
hot an ecclesi- j^g k eea f ree l v applied to explain the for- 


opment. mation of the Creed. The persons who hold 

this theory differ very widely in its practical application. 
One very liberal school of its maintainers says, that the 


development may be made by any sect, or by a single person, 
and that the development may be by taking away as well as 
by addition. Another school contends that the development 
may be made by any number of Christians who can procure 
the concurrence of the Pope of Rome in their determination, 
and that the development must always be by addition. This 
only differs from the last mentioned school by providing for 
an accumulation of doctrines, and by restraining infallibility 
to one man at a time, instead of allowing it to all claim- 

There is a third school among the holders of the theory 
of development, which limits the power of the Church to 
develop articles of faith to the first four or five centuries. 
But even if the development is thus, arbitrarily, or in any 
other way, stopped at the fourth century, all the objections 
to that theory remain in as strong force as against a develop- 
ment extending through all the ages. 

All that has been said already about the Creed is properly 
an answer to this theory. These considerations, and some 
additional facts and reflections, may be summed up as fol- 

§ 5. the The- The theory is in direct violation of the Di- 
ory of develop- vine pres cription of " One Faith." This 

ment Inconsist- 
ent with "One theory opens a wide door, not only to diver- 

Faith." sities of faith, but to the wildest excesses of 

speculation, confounding all real distinction between truth 

and error. 

Some respectable Christian writers have carried this notion 

of development so far as to assert that a profession of belief 

that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, was the only faith 

required in the first age of the Church. For this opinion 

they allege such passages as the confession of the Eunuch:- 

"I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Acts viii. 


37.) "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 
be saved." (Acts xvi, 31.) "When they heard this they 
were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts xix, 5.) 

Surely this is a strange wresting of the Scriptures, thus to 
derive from isolated expressions a meaning which directly 
contradicts the most solemn teaching of the Divine Word. 
The first and the most important canon of interpretation is, 
that the whole of any document must be taken together, and 
each part understood so as to be in correspondence with the 
apparent meaning of the whole. Now, if the Bible is God's 
Word, it is one connected document, and reveals one system 
of truth. Therefore, every single expression in the Bible 
derives its meaning in part from the whole Bible. The 
words mean what they are used to express in that place, and 
in connection with the accompanying truths to which they 

It is not necessary, however, to go beyond the simple com- 
mission to baptize, from which the Apostles derived all their 
authority in the premises, to rescue these passages from this 
false application. By the plain direction of that commission 
there could be no such thing as Christian Baptism, except in 
the entire name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and upon 
confession of the whole faith included in that name. In the 
cases before us, instruction in the Messiahship and work of 
Jesus was the principal matter to be added to the knowledge 
which the parties already possessed, and a confession of faith 
on that point is therefore recorded as equivalent to a confes- 
sion of the whole Christian faith. What the use of such 
forms of expression by the Evangelists does prove, is, that 
they were writing to Christians who would understand all 
such expressions according to the analogy of faith, of which 
Jhey were in full possession, in that orderly arrangement of 
the facts of Christianity, the Creed. 


One of the passages above cited makes this conclusion 
inevitable, even from its own immediate context. Certain 
disciples were found at Ephesus, of whom St. Paul inquired, 
"Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" The 
Apostle probably wished to ascertain whether these disciples 
had received the laying on of hands in Confirmation, for the 
full Christian measure of the gift of the Holy Ghost, that so 
he might impart to them that gift if they had not yet 
received it. Their answer informs the Apostle that they had 
not yet received even Christian baptism. " We have not so 
much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." The next 
question of the Apostle evidently implies that there could be 
no Christian baptism except in the name and upon belief in 
the Holy Ghost, for he asks them, " Unto what then were ye 
baptized?" Upon receiving^the answer, "Unto John's bap- 
tism," he instructed them in the whole mystery of salvation 
by Christ, after which they were baptized and confirmed. 
All this instruction, with the account of the Baptism and 
Confirmation, St. Luke condenses into three verses. Was it 
to be expected that he would formally recite the whole for- 
mula of baptism in that brief account? 

The expression, "they were baptized in the name of the 
Lord Jesus," and all similar declarations, are simply a mode 
of saying that these persons received Christian Baptism, 
which would be the modern mode of expressing the same 
facts. Nor ought it to have been supposed possible that any 
Christian man would infer from this narrative that St. Paul 
neglected to instruct these ingenuous disciples in the very 
point on which he had first ascertained their ignorance; or 
that he would throw contempt upon his own Divine commis- 
sion by baptizing them in any other name, or in any less 
faith than the name and belief of Father, Son, and Holy 



There was an a 'priori necessity that the whole saving 

faith of the Gospel should be gathered into a short formula, 

to be distinctly recognized and confessed by 

apostolical ^ ne ^ rs ^ converts to Christianity. The insti- 

Obigin of the tution of Christ makes Faith to be the mean 

Creed can be . . . -in 1 i 

Proved by the °* salvation, and commands all men to be bap- 
Necessityof tized into a Faith. What faith? Christian 

the Case. ,. . , . n . , 

religion does not treat men as idiots, or as the 
subjects of a sort of necromancy. It treats them as intelli- 
gent beings, who must know and profess in whom they trust, 
and what they believe. 

The Faith is nowhere collected into a compact formula in 
the Scriptures, but it is scattered miscellaneously through the 
whole volume in the forms of history, prophecy, song and 
parable. Why this omission to gather up these scattered 
truths, if the Author of the Scriptures made no provision 
by which this most needful task should be accomplished, 
under such sanction, as to satisfy all fair and ingenuous minds 
of the truth of the faith which they were required to believe? 
A distinguishing glory of the Christian religion is that it 
consists of facts. It is a fact that the Author of the Bible 
instituted the Christian Church before He caused the New 
Testament to be written. He commanded that Church, then, 
to baptize men in a certain faith, and He called the same 
Church "the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Tim. 
iii, 15.) 

This Divine provision furnishes a complete answer to the 
question just proposed. The articles of faith are not col- 
lected in the Bible, because the Author of the Bible made 
ample arrangement for their collection in another way. Men 
were to be baptized into a belief. Christianity is a religion 
addressed to the reason and intelligence of men. Ex necessi- 
tate rei, therefore, the terms of that belief must be stated to 


the catechumen in a form of words which he could learn and 
understand. This is necessary now. How much more neces- 
sary was it before the New Testament was written ; long be- 
fore it was collected ; and for the ages during which, as a 
book in manuscript, it was utterly inaccessible to nine-tenths 
of the Christian people? 

There was an a priori necessity for the existence of a 
Creed in the beginning on another ground. The Sacraments, 
which symbolically set forth the faith to the eye and in 
action, would be mere enigmas if unaccompanied by a verbal 
formula explanatory of the mysteries contained in them. 
Some writers contend that the words of institution in Bap- 
tism constituted the whole of the Creed for some ages. But 
these words, taken by themselves, have no apparent meaning 
and no rational purpose. They do not propose an intelligible 
faith. To make the Sacraments and the use of the words of 
institution intelligent acts, the believer must know and confess 
who is the Father, who the Son, who the Holy Ghost, and 
who that Lord whose death he is commanded to show forth. 
? 7 there ^1 Paul says to Timothy, " Hold fast the 

are Expressions form of sound words, which thou hast heard 

which plainly °^ me ' * n ^ a ^ n ana l° ve > which is in Christ 
Refer to the Jesus. Tha,t good thing which was commit- 


ted unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which 
dwelleth in us. . . . And the things which thou hast 
heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou 
to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." 
(2 Tim. i, 13-14; ii, 2.) That which Timothy was to hold 
fast, and to commit to others, and they again to others, in 
regular succession, was not a sentiment, or a feeling, or a doc- 
trine, but a "Form." It was a Form of Words: a "Form 
of Sound Words." Could the Christian Creed be described 
in words more definite and expressive ? What other meaning 


can be given to the Apostle's language? They certainly are 
emphatic words, and describe something deemed by the 
Apostle of great concernment in the Christian religion. 
Nothing that we can find answers to their meaning but the 
Creed, and we are therefore almost compelled to assign to 
them that meaning. This conclusion becomes more certain 
when we find in the next succeeding ages that the Creed is 
familiarly spoken of in the very language here used by the 
Apostle, as something very precious "committed" by the 
Apostles to the Pastors of the Church, with the charge to 
hand it down in perpetual succession to their successors, as a 
sacred deposit. One of the common names of the Creed in 
those early ages was the Deposition — the thing "committed" 
to the Church. 

The existence of the Creed seems to be irresistibly con- 
cluded by St. Paul, in his extraordinary charge to the Gala- 
tians: "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any 
other gospel unto you than that which we have preached 
unto you, let him be accursed." To make this declaration 
more emphatic, he immediately repeats it, with slight vari- 
ation: "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than 
that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. i, 8-9.) 
How could these new converts test the doctrine of an Angel, 
or of the very Apostle who had taught them, by the Gospel 
which they had first received, unless the truths of that Gos- 
pel were embodied in a "form of sound words" which had 
been committed to them, and which was then in their posses- 
sion? How else could they measure a subsequent teaching? 
Were they to place their frail memory of the Apostle's Ser- 
mons, years ago, against the solemn declarations of an Angel, 
and of the same Apostle now? The Apostle clearly implies 
that these Christians had received and retained the Gospel 
which he preached, in such a connected and available form, 


that they could use it as the standard by which to determine 
the soundness of any preaching which they might afterwards 

Again, St. Paul writes to the Christians at Rome: "Hav- 
ing these gifts differing according to the grace given to us, 
whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the propor- 
tion of faith." (Rom. xii, 6.) This exhortation, requiring 
all Christian teaching to be according to the proportion of 
faith, evidently implies that the whole saving faith was 
already ascertained for these Roman Christians in a form of 
such ready access, or so familiar, that they could adjust all 
their own deliverances to this healthful proportion. I see 
not how else they could understand "the proportion of 
faith," and keep to it in all their utterances. 

The known existence of this Baptismal confession of faith, 
one of the chief articles of which was "the resurrection of 
the dead," furnishes the only clear meaning yet proposed to 
those words of St. Paul in his great argument for the Resur- 
rection: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the 
dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then bap- 
tized for the dead?" (1 Cor. xv.) 

St. Paul was writing to the baptized members of the 
Church at Corinth, who, still retaining their Christian pro- 
fession, were perverting the faith. To other masterly argu- 
ments he therefore joins this, an appeal to the confession of 
faith, which was a part of that baptism that made them 
Christians. They were baptized in this faith of the resur- 
rection of the dead, which he, by an ellipsis, called "baptized 
for the dead." If there was to be no resurrection that 
Article of their faith was a falsehood, and their profession 
of it a mockery. His question puts strongly before them 
the alternative, that they must either renounce their Christian 
profession, which they had no mind to do, or abandon theii 


sophistical objections to the doctrine of the resurrection of 
the dead. 

§ 8. The Ex- Strong as is the foregoing testimony of 

istence of the S cr ipt U re to the existence of a formula of 

Creed can be _ L 

Proved as a Faith in every Church, that testimony is fixed 
fact in all the decisively to this meaning, by the fact that 

Ancient j ° • 

Churches. all the remains of early Christian antiquity 
speak of the Creed as a common fact in every Church. They 
call it by the emphatic names — Symbol, Canon, Regula fidei, 
or Rule of Faith. And many of them refer to it in the very 
words applied by St. Paul to the "form of sound words," 
which he had committed to the Churches. 

Irenseus, just after the Apostolic age, mentions the Creed 
as "the unalterable canon or rule of truth which every man 
received at his baptism." "This faith," he says, "is the 
same in all the world. . . . Nor did the most eloquent 
ruler of the Church say any more than this, (for no one was 
above his master,) nor the weakest diminish any thing of 
this tradition. For the faith being one and the same, he that 
said most of it, could not enlarge it, nor he that said least, 
take any thing from it." 

Tertullian recites the substance of the Creed in several 
places, and calls it "the one only rule of faith, which admits 
of no change or alteration." "Sola immobilts et irreforma- 
bilis" are his strong words. The same testimony comes from 
every quarter of the Church in all the ages, before and after 
the Nicene Council. The learned Bingham, from whom the 
above citations are made, collects all these testimonies in his 
tenth book of "The Antiquities of the Christian Church." 
After a full consideration of the whole subject, he comes to 
the conclusion which I have already expressed, that the sym- 
bols thus held by the different Churches were identical in 
doctrine, but indefinitely variant in expression, and that there 


are two general types of these formulas: The Western, now 
called the Apostles' Creed, and the Eastern, now called the 
Nicene Creed. He also concludes that these variant types 
of the Creed are of equal antiquity. 

The general uniformity of the symbols of faith held in 
the Churches gave rise in the fourth century to an opinion 
that the Apostles composed one common formula before their 
separation. But the substantial sameness and circumstantial 
variety of these symbols negative that opinion, as well as the 
fancy that they were composed in any age subsequent to that 
of the Apostles. For, if the Apostles had composed one 
formula for all the Churches, there could have been no 
variety of method or expression. It is plain, therefore, that 
the Apostles acted in this matter as they did in composing 
the books of Scripture. That is, each one gave to the 
Churches he founded such a form of Confession of Faith, 
comprising all the facts, as was best suited to the capacity 
and circumstances of the people. Hence we find the two 
general types already mentioned — a shorter form for the 
ruder Western nations, and a more elaborate statement of the 
same truths for the Eastern nations, who were familiar with 
the refined and subtle philosophies of the Babylonian, Greek, 
and Persian sages. 

On the other hand, it is impossible to account for the sub- 
stantial sameness, and especially for the selection of the same 
facts, by so many distant and separated nations, except upon 
the supposition that the Apostles, or others from their dic- 
tation, gave to the churches which they respectively founded 
this summary of all that was necessary to be believed. A 
practical demonstration of this conclusion has been given in 
modern times by the innumerable varieties, inconsistencies 
and contradictions of sectarian Confessions of faith. And 
however widely they differ from each other, they differ still 


more widely from the simple statement of facts which con- 
stitutes the Apostolic Creed. 

When the Fathers of Nice assembled to consider the 
opinions of Arius, they evidently spoke, in setting forth the 
Creed, as witnesses merely of the ancient faith. Their office 
in regard to the early confessions of faith was the very same 
which many of the Fathers discharged in reference to the 
canon of Scripture. That, is, they bore testimony to the facts 
as they had received them. 

It is true, as we have seen, that the Creed is older than the 
New Testament. For Churches were founded, and were in 
full working order, long before the New Testament was com- 
posed. That which the Churches possessed then, as essential 
to their foundation, was what the blessed Savior called "the 
New Testament in my blood" — the Gospel contained and set 
forth in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, 
and in that "form of sound words" which was the necessary 
explanation of these Sacraments, and a full confession of the 
faith by which they were to be saved. So much was abso- 
lutely necessary to the first foundation and continued exist- 
ence of any Christian Church, and therefore no part of the 
Church could ever have been without the Sacraments and the 
Creed. To these were subsequently added the written Gos- 
pels, the Epistles, and the revelation of St. John. Each 
inspired writing was jealously retained and guarded by the 
Church to which it was first directly addressed, or given, aud 
then diligently dispersed, in multiplied copies, among all the 
Churches in the world. The Canon of Scripture was thus 
really formed by each Church for itself, from near the close 
of the first century onward. And the uniting testimony of 
so many distant Churches was the strongest that could be 
imagined. The Canon of Scripture was never enough dis- 
puted to require the intervention of a General Council 


Particular Fathers, and at last the Provincial Council of 
Laodicea, gave historic voice to the concurrent and con- 
sentient testimony of all the Churches. 

What a Provincial Council did for the canon of Scripture, 
the General Councils did for the universal confession of faith. 
They simply placed their solemn seal, as the august repre- 
sentatives of all the Churches, and therefore as unimpeach- 
able witnesses, upon the common confession of them all. At 
the Council of Nice this conciliar examination and publi- 
cation only extended to the part of the Creed which had 
then been brought into controversy. But we know that the 
articles subsequently examined and published by the Council 
of Constantinople formed a part of the very Creeds which 
had been submitted to the Council of Nice. For the history 
of this Council recites at large the Creeds presented by some 
of the Bishops as the ancient Creeds of their respective 
Churches; and these Creeds have all the articles subsequently 
passed upon by the Couucil of Constantinople. The infer- 
ence, therefore, is irresistible, that those Creeds were used 
entire, before and after the Council of Nice, upon the ancient 
authority by which tliey had been transmitted to the several 
Churches; and that the office of the Council was nothing 
more than to compare them together, reject those which had 
been fraudulently altered to suit a purpose, and authenticate 
the true and genuine. 

The Councils, in the form of their several acts, mark the 
distinction, as strongly as possible, between their office as 
witnesses of the ancient faith, and their office as interpreters 
and expositors of the same faith. In the first character they 
simply recite the Creed; in the second they explain and de- 
fend its articles by the most subtle and elaborate definitions. 
The Council of Ephesus, which put forth a great many of 

these definitions, expressly denounces the penalty of depo- 


sition agaiost any clergyman who should propose to a cate- 
chumen any other than the Nieene Creed as a Confesssion of ' 

Now, as the Creed recited and used by this very Council 
of Ephesus contained all the Articles not authenticated by 
the Council of Nice, it is demonstrable that the decree of the 
Council of Ephesus included, as one common confession of 
faith, that part of the Creed authenticated at Nice, and the 
whole ancient Creed of the Church. 

The so-called Athanasian Creed is simply 

1 0. The m ^ r J 

Athanasian a digest of the decrees, definitions, anathemas 
Creed. aQ( j S y n0( j a i letters of the General Councils, 

by which these representatives of the Church undertook to 
explain and defend the ancient Creed. This masterly com- 
pilation was made by some scholar in the Latin Church in 
the early part of the fifth century. The action of our 
Mother Church of England in treating this valuable docu- 
ment as a Creed, and in failing, in this one particular, to 
recognize the essential distinction between any such collection 
of truths and the primitive Creed of the Christian Church, 
has been an unhappy source of confusion, and has opened 
the door to many and fatal errors. For, if we are to receive 
a new Creed compiled in the fifth century, why not another, 
and another, put forth in the increasing light of the sixteenth, 
seventeeth and nineteenth centuries? The Synods of Trent 
and Westminster, and popular Sectarianism ever since, 
answered this question in the affirmative, to the infinite injury 
of religion, the destruction of unity, and the utter loss from 
the public mind of the first principles of Church authority, 

The Athanasian formula consists of those very definitions 
and subtleties which the General Councils deemed important 
as muniments and explanations of the Creed, but which they 
expressly refused to insert in the Creed. This refusal to 


issue these propositions of their own, as parts of the Creed, 
must have proceeded from one of two causes. Either they 
knew that they had no authority to issue them in this form, 
which is the apparent reason ; or, if by possibility, they could 
have fancied that such authority was vested in them, they re- 
fused to exercise it on the ground that these subtleties of 
elaborate controversy were not the proper articles of a Creed 
for the universal mind — for that solemn confession, expressed 
or implied, which is an essential constituent of all Christian 
worship. In either case the decision of the Councils is 
clearly and positively announced against these articles as the 
Christian Creed. In precise conformity with this decision, 
Bishop Harold Browne informs us that for some time after 
its compilation, this formula was called an "Exposition of the 
Creed; which is the proper title for the work in question, a 
work which was rarely called a Creed (Symbolum) by the 
ancients." (Art. 8, sec. 4.) 

The American Church has but ratified this authoritative 
sentence of antiquity by striking out that formula from every 
part of the liturgy, and from all ecclesiastical recognition as 
a Creed. 

This minute and perhaps tedious examination of the his- 
tory of the Creed seems to me to prove conclusively that in 
both its forms it is as old as Christianity; and that the Nicene 
Creed was not a development of Christian doctrine, origi- 
nated in the fourth century, but is one form of the ancient 
deposit of the faith, "committed" by the Apostles and Apos- 
tolic men to the Churches which they respectively planted. 
The existence of such a Creed in the first age of the Gospel 
is as clearly made out as any Christian verity can be. Cer- 
tainly the evidence is not stronger for the canon of Scrip- 
ture, and I do not see how any historical testimony could be 
made stronger. 


Objectors to the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity have ex- 

pended a great deal of ingenuity in special criticism upon 

g 10. the isolated texts of Scripture which are con- 

Doctrine of s idered as favoring that doctrine, trying to 

the Trinity as . ° ' J ° # 

set forth in explain away some of them, and rejecting 
the creed. others as spurious. The main force of these 
criticisms comes from a previous conclusion, supposed to be 
historically deduced, affirming that the doctrine of the 
Trinity did not originate with Christ or His Apostles, but 
was a product of the Platonizing tendency of the third and 
fourth centuries. 

This supposed historical conclusion is contradicted by all 
the actual facts of the case. The uniform position of 
the ancient philosophies and religions to Christianity was, 
for a long time, simple and fierce antagonism. No efforts 
at reconciliation or compromise were made on either side. 
The Church, both from choice and necessity, held itself aloof 
from all association and sympathy with the enemies against 
which it was compelled constantly to contend, resting all the 
time upon the traditional faith which it had received. The 
early Christians possessed neither the disposition, the motive, 
nor the ability to accommodate the faith to the religious and 
philosophical opinions by which they were surrounded. 
That faith was, from the beginning, so carefully embodied 
into independent formularies — Scripture, Creed, and Sacra- 
ments — that it could not thus be tampered with. It is true, 
and this only strengthens the conclusion at which we have 
arrived, that for a long time there was not that sharpness of 
etatement, and subtlety of distinction, which afterwards char- 
acterized theological doctrine. The various heresies which 
successively arose, requiring each a distinct denial, led to this 
subsequent characteristic of Christian dogma. The first 
Christians simply held, with unquestioning faith, the broad, 


general statements of Scripture and the Creed, without 
attempting to explain or modify them. 

The first symptom of the inter-action of Christianity and 
the ancient systems was the attempt of Eastern Gnosticism 
to engraft upon itself many of the Christian truths. This 
only called forth strong opposition from the Christians, and 
a more tenacious adherence to the traditional faith. Long 
after this Platonism and the other Greek philosophies con- 
tinued to treat Christianity with bitter enmity and unmiti- 
gated scorn. And it was only when the Christian faith had 
virtually conquered the intellect of the world, that Neo-Pla- 
tonism, a conglomerate of Christian dogma and the debris of 
the ancient philosophies, undertook, in its short but brilliant 
career, to revivify the old heathen mythologies. 

When these philosophies ceased to be merely antagonistic, 
and attempted to influence and modify the Christian faith, 
their only effect was to form heretical parties, which the 
Church had acquired firmness and vigor enough to exfoliate 
from her body as corrupt and dangerous excrescences. Then 
indeed began in Christian teaching that sharpness of state- 
ment, that subtlety of distinction, which were required in 
order to eliminate the falsehood of these various heresies 
assailing the truth from every side. These eliminations and 
denials of successive errors were made by successive Coun- 
cils, in the shape of decrees, formal propositions, and synodal 
letters, forming when completed, a firm barrier around the 
old Creed, which remained unchanged and unchangeable. 

Suppose now that we grant to the enemies of the Catholic 
faith all that they claim in the way of Scriptural criticism? 
Suppose we give up every disputed passage, and decline to 
insist upon what seems to us the fair meaning of all the rest, 
except that single one, The Great Charter, of which the 
Creed is the primary and Apostolic expansion? 


"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go 
ye therefore and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; 
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com- 
manded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the 
end of the world." (St. Matt, xxviii, 18-20.) 

From this Charter alone, about the genuineness of which 
no dispute has ever been raised, the whole Catholic faith 
necessarily emerges. 

This charter or commission evidently contains the funda- 
mental idea of Christianity as a religion. The fundamental 
idea of any religion is faith in a Deity — one God or many. 
Christ commands His Apostles to disciple all nations into a 
religion, a faith. What religion? what faith? What Deity 
must all nations be taught to know and to worship? The 
answer is, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and 
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." They must be taught 
to know and believe in, and be enrolled into the service of 
the Being or Beings represented by these three titles, as the 
Christian Deity. 

Do these three titles represent one God, or three Gods? 
If three Gods, then we have Polytheism, with all its absurdi- 
ties and contradictions. If, of these three titles, thus placed 
in co-ordinate rank and authority, we say that one represents 
the Supreme God, and the others two created beings, then 
Christianity is but a modification of the heathen mythology, 
with its graduated scale of Divinities. The only remaining 
alternative is the Catholic faith, so simply set forth in the 
primitive Creed. That faith is, that there is one only God 
to be believed in, worshiped and served; that in the essen- 
tial unity of His nature there is a distinction which He has 
been pleased to represent to us under these mystic names or 
titles; and that this distinction has been so positively and 


Nearly revealed, because each of the hypostases represented 
by these titles sustains to men, in the economy of redemption, 
a distinct and separate office, in which offices men must in- 
telligently co-operate, for the furtherance of their salvation, 
with these Divine Persons. 

The objection to the recognition of this essential distinction 
in the Divine nature, that we cannot comprehend it, is surely 
the idlest of all idle words. Can man comprehend the 
essential nature of any created thing? How then can he 
comprehend the Creator, either as simple Unity, or as Tri- 
unity? Man may comprehend the essential nature of any 
thing that he has made, as of a watch, or a steam engine. 
But he cannot comprehend in like manner the meanest of the 
works of God. All that we know of natural objects is just 
their effects — phenomena. All that we can know or believe 
of God is just what He tells us of Himself, and what we see 
of His workings. 

Simple being is itself the mystery of mysteries, awful and 
unfathomable, which accompanies and includes all other mys- 
teries, and banishes utterly from the sphere of rational 
inquiry the strange objection to any special mode of being 
that it is incomprehensible. 

Simple being, Being uncaused, eternal and infinite, so far 
transcends the powers of the human mind, that it is palsied 
and overwhelmed by the attempted contemplation of it. Yet 
this mystery, in all its inconceivableness, is a necessary con- 
clusion of the same overpowered mind, a conclusion which 
is at the foundation of all religion, and of all knowledge. 
The Christian Revelation can not increase this mystery, for 
that is, in the nature of things, impossible. Nor does it pre- 
tend to diminish or unfold the mystery; but leaving it in all 
its awful ness and unapproachable grandeur, the Revelation 
does, for the sublime and precious uses of religion and wor 


ship, bring the First Cause, the Eternal Being, within the 
range of human apprehension, by manifesting Him in per- 
gonal relations to us, under the mystic, yet familiar and en- 
dearing titles, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 

The kingdom of God, which Christ established in the 
world, is founded upon that mystic name of God. So the 
great Charter runs. The salvation proffered in that kingdom 
to all believers flows from the personal relations of God to 
man designated by that mystic name. The recognition of 
this name of God, and of the relations therein contained, is 
no theory, no private fancy, no human speculation, no sect 
dogma. It is authenticated to every man as Divine and true 
by an accumulation and concurrence of testimonies which 
exclude all place for reasonable doubt. Let us enumerate 
them in one view. 

1. The great Charter, as we have just seen, establishes the 
Church, and the whole saving truth that the Church dis- 
penses, upon the simple revelation of this name of God. 

2. Every baptized person, ever since the publication of 
that Charter, vows allegiance and service to God under this 
name, and receives the seal of pardon and adoption under 
the same name. 

3. Another Divinely instituted Sacrament, celebrated con- 
tinually from the beginning, formally sets forth the work and 
redeeming love of the Second Person of this adorable Tri- 

4. Yet another Divine institution, Confirmation, exhibits 
the office and work of the Third Person described by this 
mystic name. 

5. The Holy Church, from the Apostles' days, has, in the 
Creed, uninterruptedly confessed this mystery, and required 
this confession from all who would enter into the appointed 
way of salvation. 


6. The Bible — both Testaments — in its whole spirit, 
tone, S3 r mbolism, and type, and in many express declarations 
requiring painful violence to wrest them to any other mean- 
ing, corresponds to the mystery contained in this name of 

Ten thousand analogies in the works of God illustrate 
without explaining this mysterious distinction in the Divine 
nature. Brute matter curiously organized, an animal life or 
soul, and an intellectual soul — "body, soul, and spirit," St 
Paul terms them — make the one composite creature man. 
Do we comprehend the mode of the union, or the essential 
nature of either of the constituents of this complex whole? 

Away then with such an objection to any Revelation which 
God has been pleased to make of Himself. The God whom 
we could comprehend would only be such a God as we couM 
make. He would be less thaa ourselves, less than the mean- 
est of God's creatures. 




Christianity is a reasonable religion, and God addresses 
it to the intelligence, as well as to the affections of His rea- 
sonable creatures. Corrupt human nature, on the contrary, 
inculcates the principle that it is easier and better for each 
man to take his religion upon trust; that it is impossible for 
the reason to decide between so many conflicting claims ; and 
so the Pagan clings to his idols ; the Mohammedan swears by 
his Prophet; the Papist submits his neck to the yoke of a 
heathenized and grossly corrupt Christianity; the Skeptic 
denies that there is any truth; and the scoffing unbeliever 
loudly proclaims that nothing is certain but his senseless 

But when God addresses His truth to the reason of men, 
He does not appeal to mere unassisted reason. He furnishes 
aids, helps and facilities to the private reason, by the right 
use of which the few and simple facts that constitute the 
saving truth of God may be ascertained. And each man is 
responsible, not only for the exercise of his reason in search- 
ing after truth, but for the faithful use of those helps to the 
reason which God has provided. 

This principle is not only assumed in the whole character 
of Divine Revelation, but was specially determined by a very 


remarkable transaction, recorded in the early part of our 
Savior's ministry : 

"Now when John had heard in the prison the works of 
Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto Him, Art 
thou He that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus 
answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those 
things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their 
sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the 
deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the 
Gospel preached . to them. And blessed is he whosoever 
shall not be offended in me." (St. Matt, xi, 2-6.) 

The truth emphatically set forth by this narrative is, that 
God appeals only through the reason of men to their faith. 
He demands faith in things supernatural and entirely beyond 
the power of reason to comprehend. But the evidence upon 
which He makes this demand, the proof that the things to 
be believed are revealed by Him, He submits exclusively to 
the reason He has bestowed. Unreasoning credulity is in- 
consistent with the exalted nature which Christianity recog- 
nizes and aims to cultivate in man. 

The message sent by John the Baptist to our Savior re- 
quired a plain, categorical answer to the question, whether 
Jesus was the Messiah. An answer was desired which might 
relieve John and his disciples from all painful doubt, and 
from all laborious and earnest exercise of their own minds 
upon the evidences of truth. Like our modern seekers after 
an infallible tribunal, who want to be relieved upon the whole 
subject of religion from the painful discipline of uncertainty, 
and from the hard task of thinking and reasoning, if Christ 
had complied with their request, and given them the affirma- 
tive and positive answer they required, they would have been 
abundantly satisfied. But He, who came to exalt and enno- 
ble all the faculties of man, refuses to minister to the intel- 


lectual indolence, or to pander to the simple credulity of 
men. He furnishes to these honest inquirers ample materials 
for the exercise of their own reason in the determination of 
the two questions, His Divine Mission, and His Messiahship. 
The answer, as an appeal to human intelligence, is won- 
derfully full and comprehensive. In this brief compass it 
contains a pregnant reference to all the great branches of the 
Christian evidences, external and internal, miracles, prophe- 
cies, the adaptation of this religion to the character of God, 
and to the necessities of man. From a diligent comparison 
of what they now saw and heard with the Old Testament 
Scriptures, the inquirers are told to determine for themselves 
the question which they had proposed to our Lord. 

God does not appeal to the reason of His creatures with- 
out furnishing to that reason abundant materials for its faith- 
ful exercise. He furnishes a concurrence of testimonies to 
the truth, the meeting and blending of which in one con- 
clusion give sufficient reasonable assurance of the truth to all 
who will honestly use these varied helps. These testimonies 
are: 1. The witness of God in the works of Creation. 2. The 
witness of God's Spirit in the soul. 3. The Scriptures of 
the Old and New Testament, containing the truth in the his- 
toric order in which it was revealed. 4. The Church keep- 
ing the same Scriptures and setting forth a brief compendium 
of the faith which they contain. 5. The Sacraments of 
Baptism and the Lord's Supper, in which the same faith is 
visibly and symbolically represented. 

In these Sacraments each Christian man is continually 
required to become an actor in holy offices, which witness, in 
the most impressive manner, to the senses, to the understand- 
ing, and to the heart, the truths of redemption and the way 
of life. 

The glorious purpose of the true religion is to elevate the 


whole nature of man. This higher position can only be 
reached by exertion, by the faithful exercise of all human 
faculties. To this exertion of the higher powers of his 
nature man is disinclined, and therefore he prefers to take 
his religion, or his irreligion, upon trust, upon the bold asser- 
tion of a man or a party. God will not indulge this indo- 
lence and simple credulity, for such indulgence would 
counteract His design for the improvement and exaltation 
of human nature. It would appear, therefore, that the true 
religion must always be in charge of that small number of 
persons who will consent to have it on the required con- 
ditions of examination and judgment. The majority must 
take the penalties of the falsehood they love or supinely 
acquiesce in. 

God's overflowing economy of mercy and grace doubtless 
provides for the eternal salvation of multitudes who passively 
receive these defective or perverted systems, and who, in other 
respects, try to fulfill the obligations of the truth that is to 
be found in most of them. But the Divine method of edu- 
cating the world, and progressively elevating the actual 
standard of human attainment, requires, as we see, that these 
false systems should utterly fail to preserve the health and 
purity of society, or to save the human mind from that 
degradation which has seemed to render a despotism, a gov- 
ernment of brute force, a dreadful necessity in nearly every 
age and country of the world. The experience of the past 
connects with this darkness one cheering gleam of light. 
The same gracious Providence which permits the evil that 
men do, and the consequences of it, seems to have placed, for 
ome nations at least, a limit to the process of degradation; 
and by preserving, in His own Word and institutions, the 
uncorrupt truth, stimulates, ever and anon, to healthful and 
purifying reformations. 


The progress of modern society has brought out in bold 
relief the issue between the true religion, appealing to human 
reason, as that reason is enlightened by God's Holy Spirit 
and aided by all the helps which He has graciously provided, 
and various human svstems, either discarding human reason 
altogether from the sphere of religion, or exalting that reason 
into the place of God and defiantly rejecting every Divinely 
proffered aid to the reason. 

Dreamy, imaginative men, like the two brothers, Francis 
and John H. Newman, with sufficient sharpness of intellect 
to see all the difficulties of Christianity, and without force or 
breadth of mind to solve or to rise above those difficulties, 
drop down into one of two fearful depths. 

The representative of one class arrays his bare reason, the 
illogical conclusions of his small mind, against the testimony 
of nature and the conscience of mankind, and boldly asserts 
that Atheism, or Pantheism — another name for the same 
thing — is the necessary conclusion of human reason. 

The representative of the other class, virtually admitting 
the same conclusion, but too instinctively religious, too 
strongly bound by affection, fear, and a sense of dependence, 
to venture forth into the cold and darkness of Atheism, 
deliberately renounces the exercise of reason in religion, and 
passively submits to the most exacting and obtrusive authority 
that comes in his way. The recent revelations of J. H. 
Newman, -in his Apologia, describe this latter class precisely, 
as the experience of his own mind and history. His equally 
fanciful and sensitive brother Francis, it is known, belongs to 
the former class. 

A comparatively small part of the visible Church, since 
the Apostolic age, has humbly submitted to God's plan of 
making religion the great educator and enlightener of man- 
kind, by diligently applying human reason, Divinely assisted, 


to learn, receive and obey the truth which God has re- 

It is in perfect consistency with the fitness of things, that 
the bitter enemies of Christianity should take the part of 
Mr. J. H. Newman in his assault upon the Church of 
England, and echo his declaration that the position of that 
Church, reverently holding in their original integrity the 
word and all the institutions of God, repelling from co-equal 
authority with them all human speculations and devices, is a 
mere theory; while the Papal Church, with its portentous 
corruptions, is termed, in flattering distinction, a great fact. 
(Westminster Review, October, 1864: Art. 5.) Thus, these 
two rival adversaries of God and man, Atheism and Super- 
stition, work together, as they have ever done, in antagonism 
to the truth, to cast dishonor upon God, and to thwart His 
gracious purpose for the elevation of the human soul in dig- 
nity and worth. Thus, all practical falsehoods, however 
seemingly opposed, work together, rendering needed aid and 
succor to each other, in a common enmity to truth and 

God's actual method of educating mankind, by His Provi- 
dential government and by supernatural revelation, alike dis- 
proves and rebukes both these falsehoods. In nature, no 
truth, no knowledge, no valuable result can be secured, 
except by the exercise of reason, assisted in innumerable 

The teaching of the supernatural revelation is precisely 
the same. By a concurrence of Divine testimonies it is 
essentially an appeal to human reason. God has not fur- 
nished one all pervading u fact which shall be to men as con- 
stant a quantity as the air they breathe" to overwhelm the 
reason and to take the place of testimony and proof. So far 
is this result has been accomplished it has been purely the 


creation of human pride and fraud. Paganism, Buddhism 
and Mohammedanism are greater and more overwhelming 
"facts" than the Papacy. The whole tenor of revealed 
religion, and many express declarations of the Divine Word, 
teach men the truth by commanding the highest exercise of 
reason as the indispensable condition of knowing that truth. 

Besides the remarkable reply of our Savior to this effect to 
the disciples of John the Baptist, already cited, the same 
method of teaching is emphatically stated in the exclamation 
to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, "0 fools, and 
slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!" 
(St. Luke xxiv, 25.) The signal discomfiture of the com- 
bined Pharisees and Herodians by the demand, "Shew me a 
penny; whose image and superscription hath it?" — His like 
refutation of the Sadducees — His constant teaching by para- 
bles: all concur, with the whole analogy of Revelation, to 
prove that God will not permit any man to decline the respon- 
sibility of using the noblest faculty He has bestowed in His 
service. He will not accept driveling superstition, or listless 
unbelief, in place of intelligent faith. He will not allow men 
with impunity so to frustrate His gracious plan for the edu- 
cation and exaltation of the nature He has essayed to redeem 
and save. 

An imperfect appreciation of this great fact in the deal- 
ings of God with man, that Revelation is emphatically an 
appeal to human reason, is the source of much of the feeble- 
ness and indefiniteness of Christian faith in the present age. 
The advocate of Papal infallibility boldly denounces reason 
as the antagonist of religion, and declares that God has 
ordained their opposition. He says that the "all corroding 
intellect" must have in Authority "a face to face antagonist" 
"It is the vast Catholic body itself, and it only, which affords 
an arena for both combatants in that awful, never dying 


duel.'* (Apologia, p. 276.) "There are but two alternatives, 
the way to Rome, and the way to Atheism." (lb., p. 236.) 

We have seen how eagerly the enemies of Christianity 
have accepted this issue. Even some of the friends of 
revealed religion, in commenting upon this declaration, eon- 
cede that there is a conflict between reason and dogma. 
(North British Review, August, 1864.) And there is un- 
questionably an uneasy feeling in the popular mind, pro- 
duced by such oracles as these; a painful suspicion that 
there is a real and fatal discrepancy between reason and Reve- 

If the writer last referred to means by "dogma" some 
thing imposed by mere human authority, and witnessed by 
no Divine attestation, the dictum is true enough. But if he 
means the truths which are sufficiently witnessed to the rea 
6on by Divine testimonies, then the dictum is untrue and 
mischievous. And it is just this uncertainty and indefinite- 
ness of much of the language of educated men which is 
inflicting irreparable injury upon the general mind and con- 

The Papal authority — for Mr. Newman is fully sustained 
by Papal edicts, the last issued in 1864 — arrives at its con- 
clusion, insulting alike to God and to regenerate humanity, 
by confounding two very different contests now waging in 
the world. One is the perpetual conflict between corrupt 
humanity in all its departments, and the life giving truth 
from heaven which seeks to cure that corruption. The other 
is a salutary and vital antagonism between enlightened and 
regenerate reason, and a usurped human authority inimical 
V>oth to reason and to religion. Unhappily, where this 
usurped authority is inextricably mingled with the only 
religion that the people see or know, this necessary self-asser- 
tion of reason becomes an awful warfare against religion so 



disguised and corrupted. This lamentable modification of 
the conflict is between different sides of the same humanity, 
and it is death-dealing on either side. 

The Papal authority urges, on its own behalf, in this 
destructive conflict, that "no truth, however sacred, can stand 
against it (human reason) in the long run ; and hence it is 
that in the Pagan world, when our Lord came, the last traces 
of the religious knowledge of former times were all but dis- 
appearing from those portions of the world in which the 
intellect had been active and had a career. And in these 
latter days, in like manner, outside the Catholic Church, 
things are tending, with far greater rapidity than in that old 
time, from the circumstance of the age, to Atheism in one 
shape or other." (Apologia, p. 269.) 

This is Mr. Newman's idea of Atheism, as the necessary 
result of the human intellect, unless reason is restrained by 
an arbitrary human authority. 

Lord Bacon puts the case very differently: "God never 
wrought a miracle to convince Atheism, because his ordinary 
works convince it. It is true that a little philosophy inclineth 
men's minds to Atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth 
men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man 
looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest 
in them and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain 
of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly 
to Providence and Deity." 

The zealous advocate of Papal pretension forgets that 
Superstition and a corrupt Priesthood — a usurping human 
authority — had first changed, travestied and degraded the 
primitive truth, before human reason began to discard it. 
And even then the highest reason, in a few, still clung to 
that truth, dimly discerning it among those base corruptions. 

The like corruptions of a usurped human authority have 


repiodueed iu the Christian Church a too faithful image of 
that degenerate age. It is in Popish countries that Atheism 
has most prevailed. The ignorant adhere, indeed, tenaciously, 
and sometimes ferociously, to their superstitions, while almost 
the entire educated class is confessedly and recklessly unbe 

In God's economy of the world, the proper antagonist of 
Darkness is Light. The real and only "face to face antago- 
nist" of ignorance, and pride, and self-will, is reason, enlight- 
ened and elevated by God's objective truth. 

The real conflict that God has ordained is between life- 
giving truth and all the depravity of fallen human nature. 
In this endless conflict God summons human reason — the 
Divinest faculty in man — to be on His side. And, as one 
means of securing that result, He addresses Revelation to 
the reason, by making its testimonies to be just such as that 
reason recognizes to be sufficient in all human transactions. 
That which satisfies the reason in all the most important 
affairs of life is a concurrence of independent testimonies. 
God enables the reason to apprehend the constitution and 
properties of external nature, not by the testimony of one 
sense, but by the concurring testimony of several, distinctly 
witnessing to the same thing. How deceptive the testimony 
of a single sense, unaided and uncorrected by others, is 
familiar to all. How practically infallible is the concurring 
testimony of all the senses is equally well established. 

So in regard to human testimony. One witness, unsus- 
tained by other witnesses, or by circumstances, furnishes no 
ground for a reliable conclusion. But a number of inde- 
pendent witnesses to the same fact supplies to reason a 
ground of certainty absolutely overwhelming and practically 

Precisely thus does God address revealed religion to human 


reason, and so demands the joyful service of that reason to 
the truth. By at least three distinct witnesses, sent and 
authenticated by Himself, differing in their nature, and 
variant in their mode of testifying, but concurring in their 
testimony, He conveys to the reason all essential, saving 
truth. He speaks at once by His Church, by His written 
Word, by His Sacraments; all alike Divinely empowered to 
utter, in dissimilar ways, the same life-giving truth. That 
truth' is more distinctly and formally embodied in the Creed, 
at first and continuously ever since imposed as the confession 
of all believers. These witnesses not only utter the same 
truth, in these distinct and variant forms, but, by that variety 
of utterance, they mutually explain and illustrate each 

Human reason, accrediting the essential truth thus con- 
currently witnessed, is practically infallible — just as infalli- 
ble as in the determinations made, in accordance with an 
equal force of testimony, in any department of human 
knowledge. The assurance thus produced, besides being the 
assurance of man's highest faculty, is, even for the repose of 
the soul, far above and beyond that which can result from 
the assumption of an extraneous and artificial infallibility, 
not proved, but simply supposed to be necessary as the 
antagonist of reason. The truth, thus sufficiently witnessed 
to the reason, is the firm rock on which every believer may 
stand in conscious security, and against which "the gates of 
hell shall never prevail." Falsehood will constantly assault 
it, and will marshal against it all the force of perverted intel- 
'ect. But no legitimate exercise of human reason can ever 
impugn this truth. No real discovery of science can shake 
or disturb its solid foundations. After every conflict it will 
remain more evidently stable and enduring than before. 

Beyond the essential truth, so securely guarded and so 


sufficiently witnessed because the knowledge of it is neces- 
sary to all, God has been pleased to leave a large domain of 
religious truth, natural and revealed, on which the human 
mind may expatiate at will, and arrive innocently at different 
conclusions, so that the saving faith is untouched. 

The history of the Church in all her contests with error 
has amply proved the sufficiency of this Divine appeal to 
human reason for the vindication of the truth. No matter 
how arduous the struggle, or how popular the error, the con- 
tinuing and concurring testimony, of the Church in her Creed, 
of the Written Word, and of the Sacraments, defeated every 
assault. The most illustrious Prelates might be carried away, 
different Councils might pronounce contrary decisions for 
awhile; but the objective truth, enshrined in these 
Divinely ordained forms, and continually appealing to human 
reason, finally prevailed. Even Romish advocates innocently 
argue that Papal infallibility never speaks until the case has 
been thoroughly argued and the mind of Christendom firmly 
settled. This is, of course, to reduce that imagined infalli- 
bility to the uses of a fifth wheel to a wagon, for any bene- 
ficial purpose, leaving it powerful only for mischief, as an 
instrument of imposition upon the weak and credulous. 

The influence of objective truth, sufficiently witnessed 
to the personal reason, is God's method of educating man, 
of elevating and purifying the human soul, of advancing in 
a continued progress the human race. Objective truth — • 
a reality outside of us and independent of us, the food of 
the soul and not its own subjective state — is the instrument 
with which God works for the benefit of mankind. It is so 
equally in the realm of nature and in the sphere of Reve- 
lation. In nature some truths are so essential to the welfare 
of all, that they are witnessed in a way which enables all 
alike to apprehend them. Other truths, less necessary, con- 


stituting the gradual discoveries of science, are more obscurely 
witnessed, and are yielded up as the rich rewards of patient 
labor and generous exertion. 

It is precisely the same in the kingdom of grace as in the 
kingdom of nature. Some revealed truths are so essential to 
all, because all must receive and act upon them, that they are 
witnessed to the personal reason^ with such reiteration, and it 
such variety of form, that all who will can recognize and 
confess them. Outside of these fundamental verities there 
remains a vast number of truths, less clearly attested, to exer- 
cise the powers and to reward the diligence of successive 

Each body of truth alike appeals to the reason, and demands 
the highest exercise of that Divine faculty: for so God edu- 
cates his children; and in the very act of communicating 
the knowledge of salvation, elevates their nature and prepares 
them for the enjoyment of salvation. The testimony of God 
may therefore be neglected or turned aside, and men may 
choose darkness rather than light, ignorance rather than 
knowledge, proud unbelief instead of intelligent and adoring 

Now let it be distinctly noted, that this Christian mode of 
educating the individual and the race is simply A Fact. 
Instead of being a theory, or a paper system, it has been 
strangely overlooked by theorists of all sorts, and by the authors 
of theological systems. At all times the superintending 
Providence which guides and controls the Church has main- 
tained in living action this Divine method, when, very often, 
the private opinions of a whole generation proposed a different 

In all the ages the Church has stood before the world a 
great corporate body, the witness of her own Divine institution. 
In all the ages that Church has administered to all believers 


the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper as " gen- 
erally necessary to salvation." In all the ages the Church 
has imposed that faith which is contained in the old Christian 
Creed, and no more, as the condition of admission to these 
Sacraments, and consequently as the condition of salvation. 
In all the ages the same Church has held, and borne witness 
to, the Holy Scriptures, as the full record of Divine revelation, 
containing not only the truths set forth in the Creed, but a 
vast body of additional truth, serving for edification, and 
offered to the study and examination of all who have the 
means and opportunity of such study and examination. 

These are facts, notorious and incontrovertible. For many 
ages these facts existed simply, and acted on the world, with- 
out any exception or complication from inconsistent facts. 
All apparent exceptions and complications have come from 
mere fractions and dissevered parts of the Church. Even to 
this day the whole Church has never concurred in a departure 
from the Divine method of teaching the world, set forth in 
the facts above recited. Even to this day, these are the only 
facts in which the whole Catholic Church concurs; and in 
these facts the concurrence has been perfect, in all times, as 
well as in all places. 

The profound influence of the Divine method of education 
in elevating and purifying the nature of man may be feebly 
estimated, when we consider the preparation of mind and 
heart required for a due reception of the Sacraments, and for 
an intelligent and ex animo confession of the articles of faith 
contained in the Creed. And with all the obstacles which 
human wilfulness and pretended " Authority" have opposed 
to this method, its power and enicacy may be seen in the 
elevation of Christendom over the rest of the world. 




The relations of Church and State have been perplexing 
and complicated at all times. The fact that the same persons 
are oftentimes members and officers of these two perpetual 
corporations ; the points of conscience and conduct at which 
their respective jurisdictions necessarily meet ; and chiefly, 
that love of dominion which is inherent in our nature, and 
which induces every holder of power to desire its extension, 
are sufficient causes of this complexity, and of continually 
recurring confusion on this subject. 

The uncertainty and continually varying condition of these 
relations all over Europe, the recent startling developments 
in regard to the true nature of those relations between the 
State and our mother Church of England, and the anxious 
fears and earnest inquiries awakened by those developments, 
make this to be one of the most interesting and concerning 
questions of our age. 

A few years ago, however eagerly we might have entered 
into the consideration of this question on account of the vast 
consequences depending upon it to the Church at large, we 
would hardly have esteemed it a practical question for this 
portion of the American Continent. The common impression 
among us has been, that here, at least, a final settlement of 


the whole matter had been made, by the entire separation of 
Church and State, and that no question in regard to the 
relations between them could ever again arise. But the 
complete secularization of the leading denominations ; the 
attempt of so many ecclesiastical bodies to regulate the polit- 
ical opinions and conduct, of their members, the conversion 
of the Pulpit into a political rostrum for the fulmination of 
decrees for or against the Csesar of the day — the civil authority 
of the time — the natural interference of that civil authority, 
when so provoked or invited, with ecclesiastical affairs; and 
the manifest absence of all definite conception of the nature 
of these relations on the part of the general public, prove 
that this impression was a mistake ; and that it is necessary 
here, as elsewhere, to go back to first principles, and to the 
ordinance of God, in order to ascertain the right and the safe 

It is not wonderful that this confusion and indefiniteness 
exist. For ever since the complete establishment of the 
Christian religion as the law of the Roman empire, a continuous 
struggle has been going on — the civil rulers striving to use 
the Church as a department of the State, and ambitious 
Churchmen to treat the State as the rightful servant of 
the Church. The essential independence of each has hardly 
ever been realized as a fact, and seldom even recognized 
as a principle. One invariable result has attended this con- 
tinuous struggle. Whichever party triumphed, the Church 
and religion suffered loss. Both were sacrificed upon the 
altar of secular ambition. 

One great source of confusion and difficulty in the Christian 
mind, on this subject, is the fact, that the Jewish State was 
a Theocracy, Church and Commonwealth forming one indi- 
visible polity. This fact is the foundation of the whole 

argument of Hooker's eighth book. But the application of 


the fact to the Christian Church was a sophism pregnant 
with mischief and disaster. 

The only sound argument, as it seems to me, for that union 
of Church and State which has subsisted so long in England, 
and elsewhere, is the simple fact that such is the actual state 
of things, and that the people, representing both parties to 
the alliance, have been and are satisfied with it. This was a 
part of the established order which the Reformation seems 
nowhere to have disturbed, or even brought into serious 
question. The Presbyterian Scotch Confession of Faith really 
gives over to the civil authority the entire administration of 
the kingdom of God, except a few merely functional acts, 
which are reserved to the ordained ministers. The Confession, 
Chap. 23, Sec. 3, says: 

" The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the admin- 
istration of the Word and Sacraments, or the power of the 
keys of the kingdom of heaven ; yet he hath authority, and 
it is his duty to take order that unity and peace be preserved 
in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, 
that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions 
and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, 
and all ordinances of God duly settled, administered and 
observed. For the better effecting whereof he hath power to 
call Synods, to be present at them, and to provide that what- 
soever is transacted in them is according to the mind of God." 

This surrender of all real authority in the Church of God 
to the civil magistrate evidently proceeds from the confused 
notion that every Christian State is just such a Theocracy as 
God established for a temporary purpose, in one family, before 
the coming of Messiah. The authors of this sweeping article 
"of faith" probably expected that they would be virtually 
rulers both of Church and State. 

The one ancient Theocracy — Church and State not united 


but essentially one — was appointed for a special purpose and 
for a limited time. That purpose was accomplished, that 
limit reached, when Christ uttered from the Cross the crowning 
exclamation, "It is finished," and "the veil of the temple was 
rent," and the Catholic Church received its great Charter, 
"Gro ye into all the world, discipling all nations." The con- 
dition of the Catholic Church, as a spiritual kingdom in all 
the world, composed of all nations, having its seat in the heart 
of every kingdom, utterly forbade its identification with any 
earthly kingdom, or with all of them, as a sheer impossibility. 
The same facts equally forbid any connection between 
Church and State except that of mutual recognition, and, on 
the part of the Church, passive obedience in all things not 
contrary to the Divine law. For this kingdom of Grod is made 
up of the members of every earthly power, and those members, 
in their civil character, owe allegiance to the civil government 
of the place in which they reside. The members of this 
kingdom, therefore, owe equal allegiance to all the civil 
governments in the world, without any respect to their endless 
variety of form, character or legitimacy. The Church, as 
such, must recognize and submit to the de facto government, 
everywhere. She can ask no questions and enter into no 
discussions. Democracy, Monarchy, Autocracy, Legitimacy, 
Usurpation, are all the same to her, from the necessity of her 
constitution. These are questions for her members, in their 
character as citizens, and in common with other citizens, to 
ask, discuss, and determine. She has but simply to accept 
the actual conclusion which she finds as a fact, in each 
country, at any specified time. The members of the Church 
in their civil capacity may be loyal or disloyal to an earthly 
government. The Church, as a corporate body, cannot be 
either. The terms are misplaced when applied to her. By 
her normal constitution she is required to recognize and obey 


sill earthly governments alike, in the place where she may be, 
which is utterly inconsistent with the conception of allegiance 
or loyalty to any. Only citizens or subjects owe allegiance, 
and for disloyalty they must be called to account. 

This great change in the condition of the kingdom of God 
is not only contained in its constitution, as the one Catholic 
Church of all nations and all ages, but is often specially men- 
tioned by our Lord and by His Apostles. 

The blessed Saviour said, " I appoint unto you a kingdom, 
as my Father hath appointed unto me." (St. Luke, xxii, 29.) 
And again: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my king- 
dom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that J 
should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom 
not from hence." (St. John xviii, 36.) And yet again : 
"Man who made me a judge, or a divider over you." (St. 
Luke xii, 14.) 

"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, 
and unto God the things that are God's." (St. Matt, xxii, 
21.) "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteous- 
ness." (St. Matt, vi, 33.) The Apostolic writings are full of 
references to this kingdom as one entirely distinct from the 
kingdoms of this world, while they carry out their Master's in- 
junction, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," by 
repeated commands to the Christian people to obey the civil 
authority, in all things not contrary to the law of God, or in 
conflict with the higher allegiance which they owed to Christ. 

The close of the Jewish Theocracy was characterized by 
one remarkable incident, full of instruction and warning for 
the people of God in all ages, and closely bearing upon the 
subject of our present inquiry. Before the consummation of 
that dispensation, and while yet the Theocracy was the king- 
dom of God on earth, and its rulers and people His liege 
subjects and representatives, this appalling scene occurred. 


"The Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou 
art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king 
speaketh against Caesar." 

"Pilate saith unto them, shall I crucify your king? The 
Chief Priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then 
delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified." (St 
John xix, 12, 15.) 

These pregnant passages describe the final apostasy of the 
ancient Church, as precedent to the re-establishment of the 
kins-dom of God in its latest form. The then rulers of the 
kingdom, for worldly ends, denied their King, and deliber- 
ately abdicated their seats of power in the spiritual kingdom 
which God had set up in the world to be the light of the 
world. Therefore they were removed, and the curse of apos- 
tasy fell on them and on their children. 

For many ages the Christian people were scrupulous in 
their fidelity to Christ as King; and discriminating in their 
recognition of the obedience which they owed as subjects to 
the civil rulers on the one hand, and of the relations they 
sustained to the kingdom of God on the other. All the early 
persecutions were founded upon this fidelity and enlightened 
discrimination on the part of the Christians, and on the obtuse- 
ness of the popular mind in refusing to recognize or permit 
this distinction. In one of the persecutions recorded in the 
Acts of the Apostles, the Jews and "certain lewd fellows of the 
baser sort" whom they "gathered into a company and set all 
the city on an uproar," thus accused St. Paul and his com- 
panions: "These all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, say- 
ing that there is another King, one Jesus." (Acts xvii, 5, 7.) 

Unquestionably this accusation was true in both its parts. 
They did say that there was "another King, one Jesus," and 
they did refuse to obey those public laws which required them 
V) renounce their allegiance to this King of kings, by sacri- 


ficing to the statue of the Emperor, or to any of the popular 
Deities. We know that every subsequent persecution found 
its pretext in the same truthful allegation, that the Christians 
professed to be citizens of another kingdom than the Roman 
Empire, and to owe allegiance to another King than Caesar. 

These two jurisdictions ought never to have been in con- 
flict, for their nature and their aims are entirely distinct. The 
one is an earthly kingdom having in charge only earthly 
interests and duties. The other is a spiritual kingdom, having 
in charge the interests of men in eternity, and the duties 
which they owe to God. 

The decrees of Caesar, determining the manner and the 
objects of religious worship, were always presumptuous vio- 
lations of the rights of conscience, and wanton invasions of the 
spiritual kingdom of the Lord of hosts. The attempt of the 
Church of God to manage the secular affairs, and to regulate 
the political conduct or principles of the people, is a like 
wanton intrusion upon a jurisdiction which belongs to another, 
a criminal invasion of those earthly kingdoms which God has 
committed to earthly rulers. 

Alas! the bloody history of the world and of the Church 
has been, for the most part, a history of the mutual conflicts 
and usurpations of these two diverse kingdoms, each claiming 
the jurisdiction, and seeking to exercise the prerogatives of 
the other. Romanism and Puritanism, however opposed in 
other respects, are identical in this, that they are essentially 
politico-religious institutions. Each is an attempt to confuse 
and to blend together secular and spiritual jurisdiction, the 
earthly and the heavenly kingdom. And most of the miseries 
of mediaeval and of modern society have come from this pro- 
fane attempt to join together the things which God has 
strongly separated. 

Romanism is avowedly a kingdom of this world: wielding 


the two swords of secular and spiritual dominion; loudly and 
earnestly protesting, that the former is essential to the full 
exercise of the latter, and anathematizing all who contradict 
that claim, or who declare that the secular arm should not be 
used for the enforcement of spiritual jurisdiction. The En- 
cyclical of 1864 re-asserts these and other Papal prerogatives 
of the darkest ages; and a Priesthood jealously separated 
from the ordinary sympathies of social life — its members 
bound only to their Superiors — and armed with the most 
effective appeals to superstitious terror, is ready at all times 
to enforce these vaulting claims. 

Puritanism was conceived, born, and nurtured in political 
agitation, and through all the moods of its ever changing 
faith it has religiously retained this one tradition. Some of 
the Puritan fathers left England for Holland, professedly in 
search of religious liberty. They found there all the liberty 
they professed to seek, but not that which was indeed the 
liberty they wanted, viz., the power to control the faith and 
practice of all other people. They ingenuously give as their 
reason for leaving Holland, that "in ten years' time, whilst 
their Church sojourned among them, they could not bring" 
the sturdy Hollanders into "their way."* These uncompro- 
mising lovers of unlimited control in Church and State there- 
fore left the old world in disgust, and founded in America a 
stern imitation of the ancient Jewish Theocracy. The milder 
influence of the British Government at first, and the shock of 
the American Revolution afterwards, dissolved the Puritan 
Theocracy as a formal establishment. But this principle of 
Puritanism has injuriously tainted, not only the Congrega- 
tional Societies, but most of the religious denominations of 
our country. 

Romish Priests and Puritan Preachers may be and have 

* See Coit's Puritanism, p. 106. 


been successful Politicians. But they are not Statesmen. 
And all their efforts at State craft, and their mingling of 
worldly and spiritual powers, have been injurious to the people 
and destructive of religion. Out of this darkness one bright 
hope arises. The strength of character which, turned to Pu- 
ritanism, has been so fruitful of mischief, when re -appropri- 
ated by the Apostolic Church, will be equally efficient for 
good. In testimony whereof witness the history of Episco- 
pacy in Connecticut. 

The small body of persons in this country who are neither 
Romanists or Puritans, and who profess to be members of 
the Holy Catholic Church, have this among other solemn 
duties to perform, viz., to bear a constant and emphatic testi- 
mony to the essential diversity, the Divinely ordained separ- 
ation, between the kingdoms of this world and the one 
kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is true 
that these very distinct kingdoms must meet and interpene- 
trate, because both are in this world and the same persons 
are the common subjects of both. But this meeting should 
be like that of land and water, of earth and air, each retaining 
its identity and diverse nature, and" performing only its own 
appointed function. 

Surely the rulers of an earthly kingdom are competent, in 
their civil capacity, to the management of its affairs, without 
the dictation or guidance of the confessional or the pulpit. 
In point of fact we know that the interference of these alien 
powers has been productive only of mischief and misrule in 
all lands. 

In their official capacity in the kingdom of Christ, the 
ministers and members of that kingdom can rightfully have 
no politics, be of no party, have no opinions and no convic- 
tions. One comprehensive duty, .passive obedience in all 
things not contrary to the law of Christ, expresses the whole 


relation which the members of Christ's kingdom, as such 
sustain to the State. The Church can entertain no question 
as to the respective merits of different forms of government, 
monarchial, republican or democratic. All that she has to 
do is to accept and submit to whichever may be established. 
Her only King has laid down the law for her as for Himself: 
"Man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you?" (St. 
Luke xii, 14.) 

These same questions properly belong to the members, and 
even to the Ministers of Christ's kingdom, in their other rela- 
tion, as citizens or subjects of an earthly kingdom. The 
distinction, when once clearly apprehended, is easily retained, 
and may be fully acted upon. Men find no difficulty in 
distinguishing between their duties as members of half a 
dozen civil corporations. The same persons may sustain the 
most* intimate relations to these different corporations, but 
there are properly no relations at all between the several cor- 
porations as such. So the Christian people owe true allegiance 
to the State, and the State owes protection to its subjects in 
all their rights, including their religious rights. But between 
Church and State, as distinct kingdoms, there is properly no 
relation but that of mutual recognition, as great and all con- 
cerning facts in the Divine economy of the world, and the duty 
of submission and protection above mentioned. That both 
Church and State recognize God and His Providence, and the 
moral law which He has impressed upon man's nature, dero- 
gates not at all from the rightful independence of each. Com- 
posed of the same persons, and dealing with many of the 
same subjects, they necessarily, as before remarked, meet and 
interpenetrate. But the instant that the two jurisdictions are 
sonfounded, and either attempts to perform or to dictate the 
duties of the other, wrong and injury are the only and the 
necessary results. The well-being of the State, and of the 


Church alike, especially in this land, require that the essential 
distinction between these two kingdoms, and their mutual 
independence, be clearly understood and jealously main- 

In the progress of modern society the Periodical Press has 
become a mighty power for good and for evil. The Church 
of God has deemed it expedient to employ this strong agent 
of influence in the service of the sacred interests committed 
to her keeping. To make that agency either safe or effective, 
every Periodical professedly published in the interests of 
Christ and his Church, should observe, with jealous discrimi- 
nation, the Divinely ordered distinction between the earthly 
and the heavenly kingdom. It is true that these Periodicals 
are individual enterprises, but they rely for their support and 
existence entirely upon the devotion and Christian feeling of 
the members of the Church. As such, their supporters are 
of every shade of political opinion and principle. They sus- 
tain these Church papers, not to learn their politics from 
them, but that they may be influential advocates of the Church 
and her interests. Many thousand secular papers, many 
hundred professedly religious papers of the various denomi- 
nations, take care of the interests of the State. Is it too much 
to expect that three or four Church papers should esteem it 
their sufficient and noble work to take care of the interests of 
God's kingdom? Shall they be driven from this glorious 
advocacy, and from their undivided fealty to King Emanuel, 
by the popular cry, "Thou art not Caesar's friend?" The 
dangers and momentous issues of the passing time, and the 
vast responsibility resting upon the Church of God in this 
almost heathen land, should induce all Church people to 
require this exclusive devotion to the kingdom of God on the 
part of the Church press. Else that agency will be shorn of 
nil its power for good, become the pliant representative of one 


and another faction, the supple follower of every popular 
vagary, and the victim of every popular excitement. 

This necessary rule for the conduct of the Church Press 
does not at all affect the right of the Editors to submit their 
views to the public on every political question. Their rights 
and duties as citizens or subjects of an earthly kingdom are 
not taken away by the relations which they sustain to the 
kingdom of Christ. The secular papers, the public meeting, 
the lecture-room, are open to all alike in the former relation. 
The mischief to be avoided is, the confusion of the relations 
which we respectively sustain to these two very distinct and 
utterly diverse jurisdictions. The Altar, the Pulpit, the 
Church Synod, and the Church Press, as agencies and repre- 
sentatives of the kingdom of God, should be exclusive in their 
devotion to the interests of that kingdom. Those who serve 
in these capacities can owe, as such, in their official capacity 
in the kingdom of God, no allegiance but to the glorious 
King Eternal whose servants they are. This allegiance is 
due and is the same every-where, in every nation. But each 
member of the kingdom of Christ, in the relation of citizen 
or subject, owes another allegiance to the particular civil 
State or kingdom to which he may belong; and the State 
claims that allegiance from each person, as citizen or subject, 
and not as a member of the Church of God. Yast are the 
interests which depend upon the intelligent recognition and 
practical observance of this distinction. 




1. Cause of Divisions. 

The basis of Church Unity has been shown in the chapters 
on The Kingdom of God and on the Creed. What will now 
be added as the conclusion of this work, is with continual 
reference to the principles and facts set forth in those chapters. 
The divisions among Christians have been an injury to the 
cause of truth, and a pain and grief to ingenuous minds 
from the beginning of Christianity. The blessed Savior 
foresaw this evil as the greatest obstacle to the progress of 
the Church and to the saving power of the truth. And He 
prayed for unity with all the fervor that Divine love and a 
perfect knowledge of the disastrous consequences of the evil 
could inspire. But the source of this wrong is in the very 
nature which Jesus came to change and purify by the life- 
long discipline of his religion. Therefore, even if the Church 
while militant on earth had been designed to be composed 
only of sincere and faithful men, all that the blessed Savior 
30uld do, in accordance with the Divine method of salvation, 
was to warn His people against this sin as against all other 
offenses, to pray for them, and to provide such correctives of 
the evil that, as one of the "gates of hell," it should never 
prevail to the destruction of His Church. And when we 
remember that besides this essential imperfection of the 


soundest members of the Church, the Divine arrangement 
contemplates the co-existence of the tares and the wheat, the 
bad and the good, in that Church, it is obvious that this evil 
is a necessary concomitant of the Divine constitution of the 
Church. Accordingly, the later Scriptures exhibit it to us, 
in a slight degree, even in the Apostolic College, and, most 
injuriously, in the life-time of the Apostles, in all the Churches 
which they founded. And ever .since, this evil — the efflo- 
rescence in the Church of many of the worst passions of our 
nature — has been operating disastrously to religion, perilously 
to souls. The sin had surely reached its extremest limit, 
when, in our day, it was wantonly called good, and defended 
as the true and healthy state of Christ's kingdom. 

The formal provision made by the Divine care against the 
destructive excesses of this spirit of discord, was to place the 
unity of the Church upon such a broad foundation of fully 
accredited facts, that "all who profess and call themselves 
Christians," of every variety of mind, learning and character, 
might stand together upon that foundation in fraternal and 
persuasive union. 

We have seen that the appointed witnesses of revealed 
religion are the Scriptures, the Church, and the Sacraments, 
all Divine Facts, distinct in their nature, but bound together 
by the Author of Salvation, as concurring and mutually sus- 
taining witnesses to the same life-giving truth. Only the 
perversity of man has separated these witnesses, and out of 
that separation worked the evil of prevalent unbelief. 

The same great facts, viewed in a different aspect, are at 
the foundation of Christian Unity. The Church is One, and 
brings into the Divinely ordained unity all her members, by 
maintaining unimpaired her own Divine constitution; by 
administering the Sacraments ordained by Christ her Lord; 
by confessing the One Faith once for all delivered; by the 


exercise of her office as the keeper and witness of Holy Writ, 
in which, as the original record, is contained the Divine 
wan ant for all that has been revealed. 

All these constituents of unity are simple facts, offering 
themselves as facts to the observation of all Christians in all 
ages. They are virtually expressed in that brief but won- 
derfully comprehensive "form of sound words," the Catholic 
Creed. The fullest form of that Creed teaches us to believe 
in One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. But the 
Church could not be either One, Catholic, or Apostolic, if it 
departed from the constitution which the Apostles established 
by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; or rejected the Sacra- 
ments which Christ ordained; or ceased to guard and rever- 
ence the Scriptures which the Apostles gave and sanctioned 
as God's Holy Word. 

These "Notes of the Church," as they are called, are vir- 
tually contained in the very nature of the Church, as a real 
entity — a body corporate. As such, it is essentially one; by 
its constitution it is Catholic — -"Go ye into all the world, 
discipling all nations;" by its purpose and by the spirit with 
which it is endued, Holy. Therefore, some of the early 
Creeds expressed this Article simply by the words, "and in 
the Church." The Nicene .Creed, as the fullest expression 
of the universal faith, gathered up all the terms by which this 
essential nature of the Church was described in the pre- 
vailing; forms. 

The term Catholic, in this description of the Church, has a 
definite and recognized meaning, derived from the history of 
the kingdom of God. For a long time, by the Divine ap- 
pointment, that kingdom was confined to a single nation, and 
its most solemn rites restricted to a single place — the temple 
at Jerusalem. In direct contradistinction to this temporary 
arrangement of the kingdom, the commission of the Christian 


Church sends it into all the world, and commands the admin- 
istration of its holiest offices in every place where believers 
can be gathered. This is the Catholic constitution of the 
Church. And that Church being, as we have seen, essen- 
tially ONE, the feature of Catholicity necessarily attaches to 
the element of time as to that of space. As certainly as the 
Church, at Antioch, at Ephesus and at Rome, was one with 
the Church at Jerusalem, in the first century, so certainly 
must the Church in the second and all following centuries be 
one with the Church in that first century. And in all the 
Divinely ordained constituents of unity, the Church did con- 
tinue one, until the general breaking up in the sixteenth 
3entury. And even since that time nearly all Christians 
have retained those essential constituents of unity, thereby 
making a Christendom, although they are lamentably and 
criminally divided on other and lesser points. 

In recent times the most criminal of all the parties to this 
division has undertaken to give a new sanction to its usurped 
authority by a new definition of the title Catholic, resolving 
that time-honored name into a mere designation of an acci- 
dental or enforced majority of voices in any passing age. 

This novel definition overturns the very nature of the 
Church, as one in all ages; and changes the objective truth 
given to men, which they must receive, and by which they 
must be saved, into the subjective fancies and conceits of the 
"popular Christianity" that may happen at any time to 
prevail. The contradiction of all historical fact by this 
theory, and its fatal influence upon the very life of Christi- 
anity, are its sufficient refutation. 

This question of Unity carries us back again to God's 
gracious provision of objective truth, given to man, as the 
savor of life, and the only corrective of human error, frailty 
<ind passion. The Church, as originally constituted, the 


Sacraments once ordained, the Faith once delivered and con- 
tinuously imposed, the Holy Scriptures intrusted to the same 
guardianship, these are the Divinely appointed bonds and 
essential constituents of Unity, which are outside and inde- 
pendent of us, above and beyond our fancies, conceits and 
speculations. These stand firm, immovable and unchangeable, 
their own witnesses, clearly defining every departure from 
themselves, marking the distance of that departure, and con- 
tinually calling back all Christian people to the same sure 

As was said a little while ago, between those who retain 
these constituents of the Unity that Christ ordained, there 
necessarily subsists a real and effective unity, which they 
should cherish and gratefully acknowledge. Human shib- 
boleths, making divisions, sadly mar the effects of this essen- 
tial unity, but in spite of these divisions, the cheering fact 
remains, that nearly all who profess and call themselves 
Christians, are ONE in some or all of these grand constituents 
of unity. The Christian people who are so happy as to 
possess all the materials of unity just enumerated require no 
more. These are the elements of the real unity that God 
ordained in His Church. Unity in the kingdom of heaven 
does not melt all minds into one, nor enjoin a slavish and 
crushing uniformity of opinion and action, any more than the 
necessary unity of an earthly kingdom demands this result. 
To be one in submission to the Divinely appointed rulers, in 
the use of the same sacraments, in the confession of the saving 
faith, and in the acknowledgment of the Divine Word, leaves 
a vast field for the exercise of individual opinion, preference 
and practice. The universal Christian heart feels and recog- 
nizes this unity as something above and beyond all the dis- 
sensions, and variations of sectarian animosity. It is this 
substantial unity, on the only Divine foundation, which 


constitutes, as we have said, a Christendom. And when 
the members of that Christendom meet in heathen lauds, 
then the divisions which separated them at home are lost 
in the greatness and preciousness of the bonds that make 
them Christians. 

When these bonds of unity subsist in their integrity, 
and yet Christian communities are divided from each 
other, the fault may be on one or both sides. Both may 
have established unauthorized terms of communion, con- 
founding their party symbols with the Divine basis of 
unity. In such cases the return to unity requires that 
both parties should recede from this confusion of things 
so different. It is not necessary that the party symbol 
should be absolutely abandoned by either, but simply that 
it should be removed to its proper place, as an opinion 
which may be entertained by those who like it, or think 
it true, without the violation of communion with those 
who reject it. 

2. 'All Truth objective and independent of Human Conceptions. 

It can not be too often repeated that the truth consists 
of facts external to us, outside of us, and independent 
of our conceptions ; submitted indeed to our examination, 
but existing just the same whether we take cognizance 
of them or no, and however faulty may be our conceptions 
of them. 

Thus the world revolved on its own axis and around 
the sun in its present orbit, producing day and night and 
the succession of the seasons, although for ages and ages 
men supposed it to be a stationary, flat surface. 

Thus also the moral law contained in the Ten Com- 
mandments was the constitution and the authoritative rule 

of man's spiritual nature at all times, notwithstanding the 


false and varying standards of morality which have from 
time to time prevailed. 

Both in the physical and the moral sphere the Facts, 
the objective truth proceeding from God, were permanent 
and unalterable. The human, subjective conceptions of 
those facts varied with the changing conditions of human 
life and character. It is the failure to perceive this dis- 
tinction which impairs the value and poisons the quality 
of Mr. Lecky's laborious and interesting collections. 

Precisely the same principle and the same distinction 
must be recognized in religion. There is the objective 
truth, eternal, unchangeable, revealed from heaven. There 
is the human conception of that truth, variable, uncertain, 
indistinct; producing theories, speculations, systems of di- 
vinity, often false, fanciful, variant, and mutually antago- 
nistic. The failure to recognize this principle and to act 
upon it is the most prolific source of the innumerable evils 
of a divided Christendom. 

Look now at the objective truth, the great facts of Chris- 
tianity, and contrast the certainty, simplicity, and perma- 
nence of this truth with the shifting varieties of human 
opinion which have assumed its place and have beeu 
imposed upon the souls of men. 

When Christ, the Lord and the King, at the close of 
His earthly ministry, gave to His ancient kingdom a new 
charter and a new organization, He commanded the Offi- 
cers of that kingdom to baptize all nations into a certain 
belief. In this one declaration, therefore, He gave to His 
kingdom a Sacrament and a Creed. He had previously 
committed to that same kingdom another Sacrament, of 
His Body and Blood, showing forth the Lord's death and 
the meaning of it till He come. 

The Creed committed to the Churches long before any 


of the books of the New Testament were written is that 
compendium of the faith, that authoritative standard of 
truth, to which the writers of those books repeatedly refer. 
I know of no argument which has been so effective against 
Christianity and so fruitful of corruption as the statement 
incautiously admitted by Christian people that the Eastern 
form of this Creed authoritatively witnessed and set forth 
by the Council of Nice was a new and enlarged formula 
of the faith originated by that Council. The facts, on 
the contrary, are that this Nicene type of the Creed, long 
before the Council of Nice, was just as familiarly known 
and professed, from immemorial antiquity, in the East as 
was the Apostles' Creed in the West. Both types indeed 
are found with verbal variations in different Churches, 
but for substance the several copies of each are the same. 
Epiphamus, after reciting the Creed, says, "This is the 
faith which was delivered by the holy Apostles and re- 
ceived by the Church in the Council of Nice, where three 
hundred and eighteen fathers were present." The learned 
Bingham, speaking of the omission of the concluding arti- 
cles of the Creed from the Nicene formula, says, "It plainly 
appears from most of the forms before recited that several 
of the articles which follow after the Holy Ghost were al- 
ways a part of the Creed ; and the reason why the Council 
of Nice repeated them not was only because there was then 
no dispute about them, and they only rehearsed so mucli of 
the former Creeds as there was then occasion for to oppose the 
heresy of the Arians, leaving the rest to be supplied from the 
former Creeds, then generally received in the Church." He 
afterward adds, "Therefore it is plain the Nicene Creed 
was only one part of the ancient Creed that was used at 
full length in baptism, though not here so recited." (Bing- 
ham, Book X, ch. 4, sees. 14, 15.) 


It is simple matter of fact, therefore, that the Creed in 
, one or other of the two forms which we now call respec- 
tively the Apostles' Creed and the JSTicene Creed was for 
substance held and taught by all Christian Churches 
wherever planted from the Apostles' age downward. • 

Furthermore, while these first depositories of the truth, 
the Apostles of the Lord, were still engaged in the fulfill- 
ment of their high commission, the same Power which 
had sent them forth inspired some of their number, and 
some of their disciples under their direction, to commit to 
writing in varied forms, historical and didactic, the whole 
body of truth which it was important that the Church 
in all ages should know, and which might take the place 
of the personal testimony of these Apostles. 

Here then we have in the very beginning of Christianity, 
and constituting that Christianity, these facts: First, The 
Church or Kingdom of God fully and Divinely organized ; 
second, The Creed; third, The Sacraments; fourth, The 
Written Word. This is absolutely all that we know any 
thing about as constituting the Christianity of this first age 
and of several succeeding ages. Speculation and theory, 
of course, began at once, for these are necessary results 
of the constitution of the human mind ; and as long as 
speculation and theory were in harmony with these facts, 
they were harmless ; but if they overturned the Sacra- 
ments, or impugned the Creed, or changed the constitution 
of the Church, or contradicted the Written Word, they 
were to be indignantly rejected as pernicious errors. 

3. The Church the Pillar and Ground of the Truth. 

St. Paul declares one of these great facts, "the Church 
of the living God," to be u the pillar and ground of the 
truth." (1 Tim. hi, 15.) 


Now see how the Church has fulfilled and is fulfilling 
to-day in all the world this grand purpose of her being. 
That same objective truth which she received, those grand 
facts which we have been contemplating — her own being 
and Organization, the Sacraments, the Creed, and the 
Written Word — she held and taught in the first age, and 
she has held and taught the same in every succeeding age. 
Torn and divided and convulsed as she has been for many 
centuries, each part of this Church which retains the Di- 
vine organization still, by the overruling Providence of 
the Divine Master, perseveres in holding and teaching this 
same objective, immutable truth, enshrined in the same 
ancient forms. Thus the Church of all ages and of all 
nations — which is the proper definition of the Catholic 
Church — concurs in holding and teaching the one truth 
once for all received. And this is the only thing in which 
these torn and divided fragments do concur. And alas! 
by large sections of the Christian body these eternal truths 
are only formally held and taught in the ancient formu- 
laries, while a new and alien body of fable and cunning 
superstition is ardently cherished and earnestly inculcated 
as the practical religion of the people. 

Each generation since the fourth or fifth from the Apos- 
tles has thus displayed upon the surface its own special 
conceits as the true Gospel, while the old objective truth 
was imbedded in the foundations. But this surface reli- 
gion, this superficial drift overlying the old objective truth, 
has never in any case been the teaching of the Catholic 
Church, the Church which is "the pillar and ground of 
the truth." For by the very terms of the proposition the 
teaching being not that of the first age, it is not the teach- 
ing of the whole Church, but only of a fragment in time 
of that Church. 


It is certain, therefore, that the Church of our time or 
of any age since the Apostles fell asleep, viewed as separate 
from that first age, is not the Catholic Church, the one 
Body of Christ. The Divine promise of indefectibility, the 
sublime trust to be "the pillar and ground of the truth," 
were not given to any of these dissevered portions, but to 
the whole Church. The peculiar teaching, the new surface 
religion, of one of these parts is not the teaching of the 
Catholic Church. The old objective truth taught in the 
first age and continuously ever since alone is that teaching, 
and has remained in its integrity, unchangeable like its 
Author, to be the standard by which to detect, to measure, 
and happily in many instances to correct the successive 
deviations and departures from that truth. 

The fallacy we have just examined, which puts a part 
of the Church for the whole and calls that one part the 
Catholic Church, is the favorite sophism of Romish con- 
troversy, and has deluded many unstable souls into the 
embrace of the mother of Schisms. 

4. The History of Corruptions. 

The first formal alliance of the Church with the world 
engendered, as we have seen, Arianism, with all its brood 
of successive errors, pretenses, and persecutions. By the 
middle of the fifth century the Church had emerged from 
this fiery trial, with its faith unimpaired, and each Article 
of the Creed successfully vindicated against every assault, 
and fenced around with an impenetrable hedge of defini- 
tions and distinctions, meeting and repelling all the subtle 
heresies by which it had been impugned. 

Presently we behold another portent of evil from the 
same unhappy alliance. The triumph of the Church, in- 
viting the caresses of the world, brought in upon Chris- 


tianity as a flood the most seductive forms of the ancient 
Paganism. The Christian sacrifice of commemoration and 
of praise and thanksgiving for the one all-sufficient atone- 
ment of Calvary was perverted in the imaginations of men 
into a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead. 

The Pagan Pantheon, with its crowds of gods and god- 
esses, was reproduced in the Christian Church without a 
change, except in the mere names and titles of the objects 
of worship. And parallel with the heathen apotheosis of 
men to the rank of Deities we find the corrupt Christian 
designation of a vast multitude of men and women blas- 
phemously pronounced to be transferred from Paradise to 
Heaven, as effectual Mediators, to whom is ascribed the 
Divine attribute of ubiquity, and to whom it is declared 
lawful to address religious adoration. 

In place of the ancient discipline, which repelled from 
the communion or imposed other penances upon public 
offenders, and then upon sufficient evidence of true repent- 
ance remitted the remaining part of such punishment, the 
heathen conceit of temporal and purgatorial torments after 
this life was boldly foisted upon Christianity, together with 
the assumed power of the Priesthood to abridge or termi- 
nate those torments by the hired performance of masses 
or by the more summary process of a Papal Indulgence ; 
and the mercenary traffic in these masses and indulgences 
became for several ages the popular, practical religion of 
Western Christendom. 

5. The Miglish Reformation an Appeal to the Catholic 


The glaring contrast between such a heathenized religion 
and the old objective truth, which every part of the same 
Christendom still faithfully held and professed to revere,- 


at last aroused the slumbering conscience of mankind 
and produced that mighty spiritual awakening which we 
call the great Reformation. Whatever may have been 
the faults or excesses of that Reformation, its guiding 
principle, certainly in England, was the grand assertion 
of St. Paul, "The Church is the pillar and ground of 
the truth." From the testimony of the local Church of 
their own generation, sanctioning and commending profane 
travesties of religion and the grossest popular delusions, 
the Reformers appealed to the testimony of the Catholic 
Church — the Church of all the ages — and found clearly 
witnessed in that testimony the old objective truth once 
for all revealed from heaven, still guarded and treasured 
in its own sacred forms, the Creed, the Sacraments, the 
Written Word, and the Church itself in its Divine con- 

Here was the sufficient test, measure, and standard, Di- 
vinely given and preserved, by which to try and determine 
the quality and character of all else that claimed to be a 
part of Christianity. By the application of this Divine 
test and measure of truth abuses and corruptions were dis- 
covered and put away, while all those details of worship, 
doctrine, and discipline which accorded with the essential 
truth, and tended to edification and to the meet array of 
the Bride of Christ, were retained. 

6. Formation of the Romish Sect. 

After this reformation the multitude who loved and 
adhered to the corruptions of mediaeval Christianity be- 
came organized as a Sect, upon the avowed principle 
that the testimony of any body of persons in communion 
with the Bishop of Rome, in any age, is to be received 
in place of the testimony of the Catholic Church, and is 


sufficient to authenticate as true and Divine any proposi- 
tion which may be so announced. In other words, they 
forged a new definition of the Catholic Church, making 
it to consist only of those who may concur in the vagaries 
of this one Bishop, and cutting off from it all the myriads 
who had gone before, and all living in each generation 
who will not substitute these profane novelties for the old 

Under the operation of this principle all the popular 
conceits of medievalism were embodied in the Trentine 
Creed, and so was ratified the union between that part 
of the Church and the world, securing to this communion 
a large plurality of the nominal Christians of the world. 
But from this mongrel Christianity the educated intellect 
of each of the countries in which it was established has 
utterly revolted, presenting the painful contrast, in the 
different classes of the same society, of a mocking and 
atheistic unbelief, and of a superstition passively recipient 
of every Priestly dogma and actively obedient to every 
Priestly command. 

The logical consequence of the Roman Sect principle — 
that the Catholic Church consists only of those, few or many, 
who may concur in the dogmatic utterances of the Pope as 
Divine truth — really made that one Bishop the Catholic 
Church, and his decrees infallible and equal to the voice 
of God. The Jesuit party, which has long ruled in the 
Romish Court, was not slow to avail itself of this logical 
advantage. In vain the great lights of that communion, 
from Bossuet and his illustrious compeers in the last 
century down to Strossmayer and Dollinger in our own 
day, have protested and argued and appealed to the plain 
testimony of history and of the Catholic Church in mag- 
nificent bursts of generous eloquence. Inclosed in the 


logical vice of the monstrous principle of the Sect, their 
writhings have been all in vain, and the year 1870 wit- 
nessed the formal installment of one man in place of the 
Catholic Church, and the substitution of his voice for the 
voice of God. 

In the ruthless execution of this fatal consummation 
of what must now be called the Papal religion the leaders 
of the Jesuit party, conscious of the alienation of the in- 
telligence of mankind from the religion which they have 
long proposed as Christianity, seem deliberately to have 
resolved to make that alienation more complete and final, 
and to throw themselves unreservedly upon the supersti- 
tious credulity and enthusiasm of the masses. The calcu- 
lation is not a bad one for Jesuit morality, for they know 
too well that if they can secure these masses they can 
safely count upon at least the passive acquiescence and 
sometimes the active aid of the interested intelligence of 
the nations. For a long time in America, and recently in 
France and England, the soundness of this calculation and 
its complete success have been abundantly proved by the 
obsequious subserviency of the Politicians of every party 
to that Romish Priesthood which by a word to its retainers 
can turn the scale in so many elections. 

7. All Christians bear Testimony to the Objective Truth. 

And now amid this fearful apostasy of many, this din 
and diversity of all, where is God's eternal and unchanging 
truth, and how are men to know it? 

That truth is now, as ever, where its Almighty Author 
placed it, unchangeably preserved in the Divinely chosen 
forms in which He first enshrined it. There it is in the 
Creed, in the Sacraments, in the Written Word, in the 
unadulterate Testimony of the whole Church, its own wit- 


ness and the witness for God to all nations and to each 
inquiring soul. 

And here behold the wonder of God's Providence in 
the government of men, by which He makes the folly as 
well as the wrath of man to praise Him. Each one of 
these separated and jarring branches of the Church yet 
retains through all its own changes and diversities these 
same Divinely -given, objective forms of truth, and all 
witness to them with consentient testimony as. the deposit 
once received. In their departures from this old objective 
truth each division presents its own peculiar form of error. 
Only in the truth is their testimony one. In their variations 
from the original deposit — in their denominational prin- 
ciples, as they call them — they differ; and they wrangle 
over these differences continually. To an outside observer 
these differences would seem to be the greater part of their 
religion, and with the naturally combative portion of each 
of these communions it is even so. The main stress of 
their thoughts and the force of their minds are expended 
on these distinctive dogmas, but with the great body of 
the truly devout in each it is not so. The real substantial 
basis of the religion of these earnest followers of Christ, 
in all forms of Christianity, is the old deposit of fact and 
faith given for the life of the world. This Catholic Chris- 
tianity is the operative power on their souls, the power of 
God unto salvation, sanctifying and purifying their whole 

It is because our branch of the Church as a Church 
cleaves only to this Catholic truth, held in common by 
Christian people, and has no Sect dogma, no pet religion, 
that her members, the more tenaciously they hold this 
faith as a sacred trust which they dare not betray nor 
compromise, are tolerant and liberal in their esteem of all 


who profess and call themselves Christians. The Catholic 
Churchman €s at once firm for the truth and loving and 
large-hearted toward those who in the heat of the contest 
between their own distinctive Shibboleths abuse and de- 
nounce him for maintaining only the very truths which 
are at the foundation of their own religion. This peculiar 
vice of sectarianism, disputatious intolerance, belongs as 
well to the little narrow parties within the Church. 

Such is the grand consentient testimony to the old Cath- 
olic truth presented by those large Christian bodies which 
retain the ancient Divine organization of the Church. Even 
the little fragments of the Church, the loose dissolving sects 
which have cast off integral portions of Christianity, in a 
wonderful manner are made unwittingly to bear the same 
testimony; for although each has renounced some essential 
part of the old Christianity, yet some have lost one and 
some another part of the objective truth. They do not agree 
in their renunciations or in their newly-patented dogmas ; and 
when you put the testimony of all together you find them 
all concurring only in the old objective truth, of which each 
carried away a part when it separated from the Body. 

8. Remote Antiquity of this Divine Provision. 

This wonder of the Providential government of God is 
as old as the Church. God's ancient people apostatized 
often and fearfully, so that once Elijah the Prophet be- 
lieved himself to be the only living witness for God. Yet 
through all these centuries of prevarication and adulterous 
communion with idols the ancient Church, by its jealous 
guardianship of the books of Moses, of the Aaronic Priest- 
hood, of the Divine Ritual, constantly bore witness to the 
old objective truth, and preserved it in its original integ- 
rity to be the occasion and the standard of every healthful 


reformation ; to be the rallying-ground to which the people 
could with assurance and confidence resort, when, repent- 
ant and ashamed, they would turn from their idolatries 
to seek the living God. 

And now, if we who hold this old objective truth in 
its integrity, in its Divinely-appointed forms, were but one 
fortieth or one hundredth part of our actual numerical 
strength, our testimony to that truth would be just as plain, 
as certain, and as valuable, and as complete a vindication 
of the faithfulness of God, as if it were borne by all the 
myriads of professing Christians in the same unadulterate 
integrity. For the Divine provision for the security and 
perpetuation of the life-giving truth is that the Church, the 
whole Catholic Church, shall never cease to hold and teach 
this truth in its old Divinely-given forms, whatever may 
be the fantasies and follies commingled with that teaching 
in any given age or place. The promise that the gates of 
hell shall not prevail against the Church is fulfilled by this 
adorable miracle of Providence and grace. The assertion 
that "The Church is the Pillar and Ground of the Truth" 
is abundantly substantiated when this Catholic Church of 
all the ages witnesses to the One Truth once for all re- 
vealed, and proposes that truth to men in the old Divinely- 
chosen forms. It is this Catholic Church, holding and 
teaching the same unalterable truth in all places and at 
all times, which in the Creed we profess to believe. 

When the mocking question was once asked, "Can any 
good thing come out of Nazareth?" the sufficient answer 
was "Come and see;" and all in every age can come and 
see that this is the old truth once for all delivered. 

We hold this eternal truth in its integrity not only for 
ourselves, but for the world and for the generations that 
are to come after. The smallness of our numbers is no 


cause for faltering or for failure. Must Elijah apostatize 
because the whole nation was idolatrous? Should Athan- 
asius conform to the imperial and courtly standard of 
Christianity and go with the time-serving Bishops because 
he seemed to be almost alone in the confession of the true 

9. The Objective Truth thus witnessed not the Subject of 


Some persons seem to consider Christian unity as a thing 
entirely of human consent, to be attained by mutual claims, 
concessions, and compromises. They have revived in their 
conception of the Church the exploded theory of The Social 
Compact, advanced in the eighteenth century, to account 
for the existence of human society. Their notion of Chris- 
tian unity is that the various denominations should enter 
into a "reciprocity" treaty on the equitable principle of 
"give and take," and upon the foundation so adjusted re- 
establish the broken unity of the Church. 

This theory appears to leave out of view altogether the 
fact that the Church is a Divine creation, and has received 
all its essential characteristics, all that constitutes its unity, 
from God. Man, therefore, has nothing to do with this 
foundation but to be built upon it. He can make no 
agreement or concession or concordat in relation to it. To 
recognize and accept this Divine basis of unity is the first 
and indispensable condition of unity. Then, if opinions 
and practices outside of this basis have produced divisions 
between those who possess the constituents of the unity 
which God has ordained, these opinions and practices on 
either side may properly be made the subject of agreement,* 
compromise, and mutual concession. It is possible many 
of these opinions and practices might be retained by their 


respective partizans. as matters of opinion, not to obstruct or 
interfere with the Divinely established unity. 

I confess that I have seen no signs of such a consummation. 
The abjuration by a few leading men in different denomina- 
tions of the monstrous opinion that sectarian division is itself 
an absolute good, is a long way off from a practical return to 
unity by those denominations. The probabilities seem rather 
to be that each of these organized bodies will run its natural 
course to the end, dividing and subdividing, and getting 
further and further from its original point of departure. As 
one consequence of this process of disintegration, and gradual 
departure from the faith, individual members of them all will 
be induced to look more earnestly into the Divine consti- 
tution of the Church, and unite themselves to the Christian 
body which retains in perfect integrity that Divine constitu- 
tion, adding nothing thereto, and imposing no terms of com- 
munion inconsistent with that provision of infinite wisdom 
and love. 

It does not matter how small in point of numbers may be 
the Communion which clearly possesses these characteristics. 
God's truth does not depend upon majorities. The history 
of the world and of the Church proves that if it had been 
committed solely to such guardianship it would have beeu 
irrecoverably lost long ago. The All-wise Revealer of truth 
knew what was in man, and therefore provided a guardianship 
of that truth which would save it from the destructive power 
of the transient caprice, pride and passion of men. Even the 
objective truth thus carefully enshrined has not prevented 
deadly errors and base corruptions. But that objective truth 
has remained, its own sufficient witness, to suggest and to 
secure timely Reformations. Only by the influence of these 
Reformations has the true religion been saved from the cor- 
rupting power of majorities. 


The Anglican communion in this country — the Protestant 
Episcopal Church — is indeed an inconsiderable body. There 
will be the less sacrifice of pride, therefore, for members of 
all the larger denominations to find in her the Providential 
possessor, in its original integrity, of that essential truth of 
which we all are in search. 

The strongest motives appeal to earnest Christian men to 
oome into the communion of this unsullied branch of the 
Catholic Church. They may not find in her, in any promi- 
nence, the special and favorite symbol of their own denomi- 
nation. And neither will they find in any such prominence, 
if at all, the dogmas and peculiarities which they have been 
accustomed to oppose in rival denominations. But they will 
assuredly find all that they have held in most sacred and 
reverent estimation as the food of their spiritual life and the 
warrant for their hopes of heaven. In the basis of unity 
which she maintains is the only realization of that grand test 
of truth proposed by Vincent of Lerins, A. D. 434, and so 
universally approved. "That we hold that which has been 
believed everywliere, always and by all — quod ubique, quod 
semper, quod ab omnibus — for that is truly and properly 
Catholic, as the very meaning and derivation of the word 
show." (Commonitory, Sec. 2.) 

To this primitive and permanent unity of Christ's mystical 
body it is, by the Providence of Grod, the high vocation of 
the Anglican and American Churches to call back their 
wandering brethren of every name. Upon this ground alone 
can the Sacramental host of God's anointed again be mar- 
shalled and conducted to victory over the enemies of man's 
salvation. These scattered members of Christ's fold can each 
impart as well as receive advantage by uniting together upon 
this common ground. Each Christian body has carried 
almost to perfection in its isolation some one distinguishing 


trait of discipline or policy. It will be the happiness of the 
members of each to impart this element of strength to their 
common mother when they return into her bosom. And the 
truth will need all the strength that can thus or any way be 
gathered for the coming conflict with error. Defiant infidelity 
and a grossly corrupt Christianity threaten with destruction 
the saving truth that God has revealed. 

That politico-religious institution which now numbers a 
majority of those who are called Christians, and which has 
for its centre an earthly kingdom, by the aid of the Divine 
armory which it has sacrilegiously combined with that secular 
dominion, is gradually extending its power over the world. 
The almost unlimited control of men and money which 
superstition gives to this power enables it to operate with 
overwhelming influence in America. Cathedrals, churches, 
colleges, schools, rise as if by magic at its will, and the 
worshipers to fill them come obediently from the crowded 
countries of Europe. The looser sects can present very little 
resistance to the advances of this great power, except a mass 
of prejudices which can easily be removed, and from which 
the reaction is always proportioned to the amount of previous 
ignorance and to the violence of feeling which was founded 
on that ignorance. The astounding boldness of the preten- 
sions of this sect will wither and overawe the minds of the 
weak and the credulous, of the young and the imaginative. 
Yet another class will be attracted by the congeniality of the 
superstitions of that elaborate system of deceit to the corrupt 
imaginations of the human heart. There is a religious instinct 
in every human being which requires to be satisfied. True 
religion can only satisfy that instinct at the expense of a 
conflict, severe and continued, with the master passion of the 
soul. Superstition appeases that instinct without provoking 
any contest with the strongest natural affections of man's 


perverted nature. Hence the avidity with which men em- 
brace, and the tenacity with which they hold, superstitions 
which offer them the consolations of religion, and do not 
demand the renovation of their nature. 

But the greatest accession to this same commuuion will be 
of that large class who cannot bear to be in a minority. Let 
the time come when elections shall be decided and offices 
bestowed by the votes of this religious party, and then will 
be repeated in this country, on a larger scale and with more 
decisive results, that mighty revolution, which in many nations 
of Europe characterized the close of the sixteenth and the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, and which has been so 
graphically described by Ranke. At that period whole nations 
which had abandoned the superstitions of Romanism, wearied 
with the dissensions of the imperfect systems that had been 
substituted for it, at the very first breath of persecution, at 
the first touch of arbitrary power, returned into the embrace 
of the sorceress from the pollution of whose enchantments 
they had so recently escaped. Vast numbers of similar sec- 
taries in this country will become subjects of the Romish 
obedience under similar circumstances, and then the contest 
will be narrowed to a final struggle between Infidelity and 
Romanism leagued together on the one hand, and the ancient 
Christianity which by the holy Apostles was delivered, by 
the glorious army of martyrs confessed, and by the holy 
Church throughout all the world continually held. By meek 
endurance, by heroic constancy, by patient continuance in 
well-doing, must the Church of God again be tried, refined 
and purified, that she may be worthy to share the triumph 
and to enter into the glory of her Lord, at the close of this 
last fiery conflict. For of the result of this trial there can be 
no doubt. We know Him who hath said, "My strength 
shall be made perfect in weakness;" and "My grace is suf- 


ficient for thee;" and 'He shall reign until He hath put all 
enemies under His feet." As this contest comes on and 
becomes more imminent and deadly, those of our separated 
brethren who would be valiant for the truth, who with holy 
emulation will rejoice to be counted worthy to suffer perse- 
cution for the name of Jesus, will learn that they must give 
up their miserable divisions, abandon their parti-colored 
standards and modern symbols, their human and ever-chang- 
ing organizations, and rally around the one glorious standard 
of the Cross, and stand firmly together upon the old founda- 
tions of the Catholic Church, with her universal Creed, her 
holy Sacraments, her Divinely instituted ministry. Thus 
alone can they offer any effectual resistance to the anti-Chris- 
tian powers which are trying to subvert the most sacred 
interests of religion and humanity. Now the fitful, passion- 
ate and ill -directed efforts of rival sects are more hurtful to 
themselves than to the enemies of the truth. All untruth 
feeds upon their divisions and grows thereby. And not less 
disastrous will be all attempts to wage a political war upon 
these adversaries. Such a contest is utterly foreign to Chris- 
tianity, and nothing but confusion and defeat can come from 
it. To all who would be the honored champions of the truth 
to the Romish and the Protestant sectarian, to all who love 
the Church and the Savior of the Church, we offer the Unity 
which Christ established, as the tower of the Church's 
strength as the secret which Christ himself has said should 
teach the world that God had sent him : " That they all may 
be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they 
also may be one in us ; that the world may believe that thou 
hast sent me." (St. John, 17, 21.) Already a cheering 
voice comes from the noblest and devoutest members of the 
Roman Church, from Italy itself, accepting this basis of unity, 
and pledging all their energies to secure its general adoption. 


In a letter to the Rev. F. Meyrick, in 1865, Ottavio Tasca, a 
distinguished layman, says — " Good Italians no longer recog- 
nize the Pope either as king or as despot over the whole of 
Catholicism. We want a Reformed Catholic Church, a 
national Italian Catholic Church, modelled after the primitive 
Church of Christ. God grant me courage and perseverance 
in this holy enterprise. Si Deus pro nobis, quis contra nos ?" 
A like response has just reached us from distracted Mexico, 
torn and convulsed Jby the terrible struggle between awaken- 
ing intelligence and depraving superstition. 

Until the blessed consummation comes for which the Savior 
prayed, it is the duty of all to improve to the uses of charity 
even our unhappy divisions, by recognizing that imperfect 
unity which virtually subsists between those who stand to- 
gether upon any part of the Divine foundation. Those 
who claim as their common inheritance the one Faith once 
for all delivered, and the same precious word of God, may 
joyfully own the sanctity and power of these bonds, however 
widely they may be separated by other differences. 

tf), $lmiohtu <P od, who hast built tghu fhuqch 
upon the foundation of the $postles and ^fqophets, 
£esus (f^ist himself being the chief co^netf stone; 
* (ptjant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit 
by theiq doctrine, that we man be made an holy 
temple, acceptable unto thee; through 3e$u$ (fftuiist 
OUJ] &otid. 




In the preceding work I have assumed this great fact — 
The Incarnation — as the essential basis of all Christian 
truth. Especially is this profound mystery, the immediate 
and necessary source of the truth which, because it is so 
commonly denied or neglected, I have more largely main- 
tained, the gift of The Holy Spirit, to be the guide and 
helper of humanity in every condition of this earthly state 
of probation. Assuming this fundamental fact, I omitted 
to state with proper distinctness the essential meaning and 
pervading nature of this fact, as it is presented to us in 
the revelation of the Word made Flesh. The present 
state of religious thought makes such a statement more 
necessary now than at any recent period. 

Every now and then it becomes necessary in the history 
of society and of the Church to go back to first truths — to 
elemental principles. It is not so much that these first 
truths come to be formally denied, but that, being uni- 
versally acknowledged and taken for granted, their very 
familiarity hides from us their depth of meaning. That 
great Christian truth — The Incarnation — has been for 
some ages an illustration of this tendency. While all 
devoutly acknowledge it in the Creed, and with heart and 
mind confess it to be at the foundation of Christian faith 



and hope, yet the intense contemplation in later times of 
the sacrificial death of Christ, and of the external and 
judicial effects of that sacrifice as an offering for sin, has 
greatly obscured our conception of the full meaning and 
the pervading effect of The Incarnation in the economy 
of salvation, 
gi. The older 1. The Incarnation of Deity — God be- 

REIJGIONS REC- • i, i , 

ognize the In- coming man — man exalted to communion 
and fellowship with God — is the meeting- 
point of all the higher religions of the world. Only when 
the degradation produced by multiplying sin, and by 
increasing ignorance, had reached an extreme limit, did 
men exchange this conception for Fetich worship, for the 
adoration of creatures lower than themselves as gods. 

All the older religions, which are also the higher, are 
instinct with this conception. It was an ennobling prin- 
ciple, which served to elevate the peoples who entertained 
it, inspiring them with lofty thoughts and with cheering 
expectations. The gloom, the darkness, and the crushing 
bondage of heathenism only settled down upon the nations 
as this grand conception of the primeval religions was grad- 
ually obscured. No sufficient account of the universal 
prevalence of this idea, and of its organic connection with 
the ritual of all these religions, can be found except in the 
fact which the Divine word makes known, that a primeval 
promise given to the Parents of mankind, and incorporated 
into a primeval ritual, made it the common inheritance of 
all the nations. 

History assures us that the nations which retained most 
faithfully in freshness and vividness this ennobling truth 
have been the brightest, the most elastic, and the most 
capable. This has been emphatically true of those peoples 
who, as composing the Church of God, have preserved 
this truth in its uncorrupt integrity. And since the actual 


coming of the Son of God in our nature the Christendom 
which exists as the realization of this truth witnesses to 
the whole earth its generous and elevating influence. By 
the inspiration and power of this grand fact in human his- 
tory the earth itself has been subdued, and the strongest 
powers of nature brought under subjection to man's control. 
A higher task than this has been essayed and measurably 
accomplished. The corruption of man's own nature, in- 
dwelling sin, the usurped dominion of the Devil, have 
been successfully encountered, and in myriad instances in 
every age gloriously overcome. 

§2. the Au- 2. For a long time the Incarnation was 
o^ooy 1 obscured considered of little more import than as a 
the doctrine of necessary foundation for the merit and vir- 


TI0N - tue of the expiatory sacrifice, and for the 

forensic distribution of the benefits of that expiation to 
those elect persons for whom only it was designed. The 
Augustinian theology presumptuously undertakes to an- 
swer the question which our Lord and Master refused to 
answer, "Are there few that be saved?" In the mediaeval 
ages it answered this question dogmatically by the double 
affirmation that only a few elect could be saved and that 
all the elect would be baptized. Add to this the accordant 
dogma of the indefectibility of grace, and you have that 
tissue of contradictions, of arbitrary assumptions, and of 
narrow technicalities which have been the opprobria of 
Christianity, and a fruitful source of unbelief in all the 
history of the Church. 

In the second generation after the Keformation the Sac- 
raments grew into disrepute with an active and earnest 
section of the Protestants, and came to be regarded as 
little better than dead forms and beggarly elements. Dis- 
carding therefore the Sacraments from all effectual opera- 
tion, these persons retained the theology of Augustine under 


its modern name of Calvinism, and affirmed it to be the 
only pure gospel. As a natural reaction from this phase 
of error multitudes have renounced the Gospel itself as 
thus represented. 

Romanism, in settling down upon its own distinctive 
basis as a sect, retained in vigorous exclusiveness the 
sacramental part of the mediseval system ; and while some 
of its schools adhered firmly to the Augustinian theology, 
Other schools gradually softened the sterner and more re- 
pulsive features of that theology, and have come very near 
to the Pelagian heresy. 

The Christian consciousness of that immense majority 
of the English and American Church which revolted 
from the narrowness of Puritanism has held with more 
or less distinctness the true sense of the Incarnation, and 
has consequently assigned to the Sacraments their actual 
meaning and purpose in the economy of salvation. 

The confused and imperfect conception of the meaning 
and effect of the Incarnation is painfully exhibited by the 
accepted representations of the beginning of spiritual life, 
in both the Romish and the Puritan systems of theology. 
Both assume a partial redemption. The Romish view of 
this partial redemption is that the beginning of spiritual 
life is in Baptism. The baptized therefore are the elect, 
and they only can be saved. The Puritan version of the 
same dogma is that spiritual life begins at the so-called 
conversion of the adult subject, and that therefore Christ 
has no connection with our nature until this epoch in the 
personal history of the elect. 

Few of our own people, imbued as they must be with 
the genial and catholic spirit of the Liturgy, can hold 
either of these systems in their naked severity, for both 
are hopelessly at variance with that spirit and with fact, 
experience, and consciousness. Every one is compelled to 


modify one or the other systems more or less distinctly. 
But such has been the pervading influence of the Augus- 
tinian theology upon the thought and speech of Christen- 
dom that the language of one or the other of these systems 
is familiarly used by writers and preachers, and men array 
themselves into hostile parties, having for their shibboleths 
the terminology of the Romish or of the Puritan version 
of election. It is very easy for the partisans of each of 
these systems to point out the error of their antagonists ; 
and, seeing that error so plainly, they cling with more in- 
tense devotion to their own cherished dogma as the only 
refuge from the falsehood mutually charged. Thus the 
vain contest between these related but warring errors con- 
tinues from age to age. 

§3. Specula- 3. In trying to determine this question of 
cbe»ing W Origi- tne beginning of spiritual life in man, both the 
ness^nd H okigi- opposing schools of theology have undertaken 
nalSin. ^ d ec i are the precise nature of that "orig- 

inal righteousness" which was the condition of man before 
the fall, and of that "original sin" which became his con- 
dition after the fall. To attempt to elucidate one obscure 
subject by the light of another far more obscure is not a 
very hopeful task. The endless mazes of this inquiry are 
fruitful themes for subtle disquisition, but can bring us no 
nearer to a solution of the actual problem of humanity. 
For in all the conflicting theories upon these subjects both 
parties seem to have forgotten that whatever may have 
been the meaning and effect of that death incurred by the 
first apostasy, neither Adam nor his posterity were permit- 
ted to remain in that state, for instantly upon the sentence 
and its execution came the redemption in Jesus Christ. In 
Him human nature was once more touched by the Divine 
nature, and revivified by the Life-giving Spirit, and placed 
in a new state of probation, under the new economy of 


grace. Hence to determine what man is or would be 
without grace is an absolutely insoluble and therefore idle 
problem, because there is not a single element of known 
fact for its solution beyond the revealed description of the 
fruits of nature and of the fruits of the Spirit ; and this 
description is given in terms which apply to that complex 
state of redeemed humanity in which the fruits of both in 
some degree appear. 

The Romish theologian, J. A. Moehler, gives an elab- 
orate account of the speculations of the Schoolmen and 
of the Protestant and Romish Divines on the question 
of original justice and original sin. While defending the 
dogma of his own party, he often makes very sound and 
just reflections, although inconsistent with the position he 
is obliged to defend. In one place he says : 

"Now it is an universal truth, holding good of all, 
even the highest orders and circles of intellectual crea- 
tures, . . . that no finite being can exist in a living 
moral communion with the Deity save by the commun- 
ion of the Holy Spirit. This relation of Adam to God, 
as it exalted him above human nature and made him 
participate in that of God, is hence termed a supernat- 
ural gift of Divine grace, superadded to the endowments 
of nature. Moreover, this more minute explanation of 
the dogma concerning the original holiness and justice 
of Adam is not merely a private opinion of theologians, 
but an integral part of that dogma, and hence itself a 

Again he says: "Divinity must stoop to humanity if 
humanity is to become divine. Hence did the Son of God 
become man in order to reconcile humanity with the God- 
head. . . Divine grace must ever compassionately stoop 
to our lowliness, and impart to our sin-polluted faculties 
the first heavenly consecration, in order to prepare them 


for the Kingdom of Heaven and the receiving of Christ's 
image." (Symbolism, pp. 116, 178.) 

This is a very accurate description of the effect of the 
Incarnation upon our humanity, and it is borne out by all 
the phenomena of human history. For it is manifest that 
good and evil, a reaching after God and a fearful deprav- 
ity, have struggled together in that humanity in all ages 
and in all nations, as the same writer very beautifully 
proves when he describes the high attainments ■ of heathen 
morality and religion. But when he ascribes these results 
to unassisted nature he simply contradicts the above pro- 
found conclusions. 

§4. modern 4. The two theories which give rise to this 


production of confusion, and which refer the commence- 

ANCIKNT HERE- „..,,.„. ■. 

sies concerning ment oi spirit ual lite in man one to baptism, 

THE 1 N C A R N A- . . 

tion. the other to conversion, are a reproduction 

in a modified form of the ancient heresy which made the 
Incarnation to be the union of the Divine Nature with a 
human person, the Man Jesus, and so to have consecrated 
only that person, already a perfect human being. In op- 
position to this heresy the truth, elaborately established by 
the Church as the meaning of the Creed, is that Human 
Nature, the common nature of us all, was assumed by the 
Son of God, and consecrated by the adorable mystery — 
God with us : The Word made Flesh. 

The exhaustive labors of the Fathers and Councils of 
the fourth and fifth centuries, accurately defining the truth 
of the Incarnation, in opposition to many successive here- 
sies, have virtually determined the very question which 
is now bandied back and forth between the advocates of 
these two opposing systems in regard to the beginning 
of spiritual life in man. The doctrine of the Incarnation, 
so clearly settled by the Fathers, teaches us that the Son 
of God assumed to Himself in the person of Christ the 


second Adam — not another human person, not this or that 
man, but human nature — in indissoluble connection, thereby 
enduing that nature, as it successively comes into being in 
each person, with His life. It is this life which makes the 
subject of it, whether infant or adult, capable of admis- 
sion into the Church — the mystical Body of Christ — 
by Baptism, there to be fed, nourished, and strengthened, 
and perfected by all the means of grace and growth. This 
truth alone gives an adequate account of all the phenomena 
of human life and character in the matter of salvation. 
§5. History of 5. It will help to remove the confusion 
the doctrine. an( ^ i m p er f ec tj 011 f the popular conception 

of the Incarnation to look back at the successive distinc- 
tions and definitions by which this fundamental truth was 
clearly and immovably established. That truth is indeed 
positively stated in the original Creed of the Church, both 
in its Western and Eastern form. But as misapprehen- 
sions of this truth — common enough with the masses of 
Christian people — were magnified by obstinate and per- 
verse teaching into heresies, the faithful pastors of the 
Church were compelled to express the same truth more 
clearly, not by changing the words of the Creed, but by 
defining with all the accuracy and subtlety of which lan- 
guage is capable the very essential meaning of the Creed. 
This exposition of the Creed by the General Councils is 
given positively in the form of definitions and of ecu- 
menical letters, and negatively by anathemas specifying 
the particular errors to be avoided. 

The whole brood of confusions and denials which center 
around the mystery of the Incarnation are summarily 
contained in the skeptical question of the Jews in the 
very presence of our Lord, when he declared His flesh to 
be "the life of the world." "How can this man give us 
His flesh to eat?" (St. John vi, 51, 52.) The mystery 


at which they stumbled was that the Son of God, the Divine 
Nature, could be so united to human nature in the Person 
of the humble Man they saw as by that union to com- 
municate life — the life of God — to all men. It was the 
mystery of the Second Adam, Christ, the new beginning 
of redeemed humanity; imparting His exalted nature just 
as effectually and universally as the first Adam had im- 
parted his corrupt nature to the whole of his descendants. 

The first error on this subject was that of the Gnostics 
or Docetse, who taught that "our Lord's body was but a 
phantom, and that he came not in the flesh, but in ap- 
pearance only." This teaching was in the life- time of the 
Apostles, and was so fully rebuked by them as never to 
have been revived. Afterward Arius maintained that the 
Son of God did not take human nature, but a human body 
only, and that the Divine Word was in the place of the 
soul. Apollinarius went a little further, and said that 
our Lord took a human body and a sensitive or animal 
soul, but that the place of the rational soul was supplied 
by God the Word. On neither of these suppositions was 
human nature taken into union with the Deity, and Christ, 
although truly the Son of God, was not at all the Son of 
man; and so the Son of God was not "made man," as the 
Creed affirms. 

Long after these errors were disposed of, and "in Christ 
the verity of God and the complete substance of man were 
with full agreement established throughout the world" 
(Hooker, book v, sec. 52), Nestorius taught, either directly 
or by necessary implication, that "there were not only two 
natures but two persons in Christ ; viz. , the person of God 
the Son and the person of the man Jesus Christ." This 
statement really denied the doctrine of the Incarnation, 
because by its terms our human nature was only in contact 
with the Divine Nature in the Christ, and was not taken 


up into the Divine Nature to make of the two natures 
one indivisible person. This error was condemned by the 
Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431. 

Again, Eutyches, with the fancy, so common in our day, 
that the best way to escape from an error is by getting as 
far away from it as possible, in opposition to the Nestorian 
doctrine of two persons in Christ, asserted that the divine 
and human natures of Christ, although originally distinct, 
yet "after their union became but one nature, the human 
nature being transubstantiated into the divine." But this 
statement equally denied the fact of the Incarnation — God 
made man — because it left no human nature to subsist in 
indissoluble union with the divine nature. And so the 
Fourth General Council — that of Chalcedon — denned that 
"in Christ two distinct natures are united in one person, 
without any change, mixture, or confusion." (Har. Brown, 
art. 2, sec. 1.) 

The circle of definitions fencing in this part of the Creed 
from human perversion was thus complete. The result of 
the whole is the establishment of the position that it is an 
inadequate and deceiving conception of the Incarnation to 
suppose that the Son of God was united to a human per- 
son — one unit of the myriads composing the human race. 
For then the indwelling of the Godhead would only have 
redeemed and sanctified that one person, and human nature 
must still have subsisted in unrelieved corruption and de- 

And the vice is just the same, the deviation from the 
essential meaning and determination of these definitions is 
just as wide, if for one person we substitute any limited 
number of persons, leaving out human nature. The denial 
of the true nature and pervasive healing-power of the 
incarnation is the same, whether we say that the persons 
who alone receive the vivifying virtue of the Incarna- 


tion are arbitrarily selected by a secret decree, or by 
the visible designation of Baptism, or by "the will of 
man," the conscious choice of the offer of salvation im- 
plied in conversion. Each of these assertions is alike and 
equally the denial of the fact and meaning of the Incar- 
nation as defined by the early Church. 

Hooker beautifully states this conclusion and its conse- 
quences: "It pleased not the Word, or Wisdom of God, 
to take to itself some one person amongst men, for then 
should that one have been advanced which was assumed, 
and no more; but Wisdom, to the end she might save 
many, built her house of that nature which is common 
unto all; she made not this or that man her habitation, 
but ' dwelt in us.' The seeds of herbs and plants at the 
first are not in act, but in possibility, that which they 
afterward grow to be. If the Son of God had taken to 
Himself a man new-made and perfected, it would of ne- 
cessity follow that there are in Christ two persons, the one 
assuming and the other assumed ; whereas the Son of God 
did not assume a man's person to his own, but a man's na- 
ture to His own Person ; and therefore took semen, the seed 
of Abraham, the very first original element of our nature, 
before it was come to have any personal human subsist- 
ence. The flesh and the conjunction of the flesh with 
God began at one instant ; ... so that in Christ there 
is no personal subsistence but one, and that from ever- 
lasting." (Hooker, book v, sec. 52.) 
„ „ 6. And it is our nature, the nature of 

§ 6. Human Na- . , . 

ture acted, every child born into the world, that is 


triumphed in thus redeemed, purified, and exalted. And 
therefore of the myriads — more than half of 
the human race who die in infancy — we know by faith in 
the Son of God that they have been taken from the evil 
to come, to be with Him of whose nature they partake. 


For these have not by actual sin crucified the Son of God 
afresh, nor stamped out from their nature the lineaments 
of the Divinity, reim parted by the Incarnation, nor driven 
away the Holy Ghost, by whom the union of each one of 
the redeemed with Christ is mysteriously effected. 

It is in the light of this transcendent truth that we must 
view all the deep and far-reaching facts recorded in the 
history of our incarnate Lord, beginning with the Baptism 
and immediately subsequent Temptation in the wilderness, 
and ending with His ascension and session at the right 
hand of God. Christ, true Man, and by the infinite love 
of God the Representative Man for us and on our behalf, 
and as containing in Himself the whole race of man, immedi- 
ately after His public Ordination at His Baptism encoun- 
ters and overcomes all the temptations to which that race 
is subject. The wiles of the Devil, the lust of the flesh, 
the pride of life, all the evil by which man can be brought 
into subjection, are condensed into those recorded tempta- 
tions of our Lord as our Redeemer. He resisted and 
overcame them, and all who are His can also resist and 
overcome them by His might and in his strength, and so 
achieve in union with Him the life eternal which He has 
won for that nature which He wears and has consecrated. 
With a right perception of this great truth, how miserably 
jejune, mean, and trifling is the bastard rationalism which 
would convert into myth or parable or illusion this pro- 
found and pregnant fact, this stupendous crisis in the long 
trial of humanity! 

And so of all the other mysteries of our redemption. 
They are the sufferings, actings, and triumphs of our na- 
ture in His Person. We have seen how perspicuously the 
"judicious" Hooker states the true doctrine of the Incar- 
nation, as expressed in the Creed and as defined by the 
early Councils. 


In a subsequent passage he beautifully unfolds the neces- 
sary effect of this Incarnation upon the whole race of man. 
"Thus much no Christian man will deny, that when Christ 
sanctified his own flesh, giving as God and taking as man 
the Holy Ghost, He did not this for Himself only, but for 
our sakes, that the grace of sanctification and life which 
was first received in him might pass from Him to His whole 
race, as malediction came from Adam to all mankind. How- 
beit, because the work of His Spirit to these effects is in 
us prevented by sin and death possessing us before; it is 
of necessity that as well our present signification unto new- 
ness of life as the future restoration of our bodies should 
presuppose a participation of the grace, efficacy, merit, or 
virtue of His body and blood; without which foundation first 
laid there is no place for those other operations of the Spirit of 
Christ to ensue. So that Christ imparteth plainly himself 
by degrees." (Ec. P., book v, sec. 56.) 

In the same profound sense of this truth Jeremy Taylor 
says: "God sent into the world His only Son for a remedy 
to human miseries, to ennoble our nature by an union with 
Divinity," . . . that we might "with free dispensa- 
tion receive the influences of a Saviour with whom we 
communicate in nature." (Life of Christ, part i, sec. 1.) 

An ancient Collect composed by St. Leo, the great 
champion of the truth of the Incarnation against Nesto- 
rius, says: "O God, who art pleased to save by the 
nativity of Thy Christ the race of man which was mor- 
tally wounded in its chief, grant, we beseech Thee, that 
we may not adhere to the author of our perdition, but be 
transferred to the fellowship of our Redeemer." 

The Rev. J. H. Blunt, who sometimes uses the language 
of the mediseval version of Augustinianism, in his account 
of the festival of Christmas, breaks loose from the narrow- 
ness of that theology, and expands to the full conception 


of the adorable mystery in these words: "And even be- 
yond the immediate influence of the Church it is found 
that the Christmas gladness of the Church is reflected in 
the world around; and a common instinct of regenerated 
human nature teaches that world to recognize in Christmas 
a season of unity and fellowship and good will, of happi- 
ness and peace." (An., p. 77.) 

All these human representations fall short of the em- 
phatic expression of the same truth by St. Paul when he 
elaborately describes the admission of the Gentiles into 
the visible Church, the mystical body of Christ, by the 
similitude of a graft. It is essential to a graft that it 
must be alive, and even possess a life somewhat of the 
same nature with the stock with which it is to be united 
To insert a dead branch into a stock would simply wound 
the latter, and could by no possibility transfer the life of 
the stock into the branch. And even a living branch of 
an altogether foreign nature can not be successfully grafted 
into any stock. To give sense and meaning therefore to 
this favorite illustration of the Apostle, the Gentiles must 
be regarded as possessed of spiritual life analogous to that 
of the Church, previous to their engrafting by Baptism 
into that Church. St. Paul thoroughly recognizes and 
affirms both conditions. For the Gentiles are described 
not only as" living branches, but as branches of a "wild 
olive-tree" to be grafted into the "good olive-tree." 

Now the life here referred to, which enables men to 
believe, repent, and turn unto God, and so be capable of 
Baptism — of engraftment into that "mystical body which 
is the blessed company of all. faithful people," must either 
be natural, the "relics of the fall," as Pelagius maintained, 
or supernatural, the effect of the Incarnation produced by the 
Spirit, as the Church has held in opposition to Pelagius. 

St. Augustine (cited by Wall, vol. i, pp. 380-1) states 


the question between Pelagius and the Church thus simply: 
"Inasmuch as the question about reconciling man's free 
will and God's grace is so intricate that while one is as- 
serted the other may seem to be denied ; if he (Pelagius) 
would grant that God does not only give us a power of 
doing well, but does also assist us in the willing and doing 
of it, the controversy would be at an end. . . . What 
great matter were it for him to say this, especially where 
he undertakes to handle and explain that point? Why 
should he there defend nature only ? " 

" The precise offense here charged against Pelagius," 
says Harold Brown, "is that he refused to refer all effect- 
ual power in man to do or to will that which is good to 
supernatural grace, but persisted in attributing such power 
to nature, thereby consequentially denying that the Holy. 
Ghost is the only Giver of spiritual life." 

Alas! for the weakness of our nature! The very 
Fathers who, guided by the Holy Spirit, so clearly 
determined that it was our common nature which was 
assumed and sanctified in the adorable mystery of the 
Incarnation; that, as Hooker states it, "the grace of 
sanctification and life, which was first received in Him, 
might pass from Him to His whole race, as malediction 
came from Adam to all mankind ;" the very Fathers who 
announced this grand and comprehensive truth, so fla- 
grantly departed from it as to restrict the benefits of this 
Incarnation, the grace of God, and all participation of 
Christ to that very small number of mankind who might 
be admitted to the Sacrament of Baptism. 

§7. Fubther 7. In a previous chapter I have shown 
the" effect of that in the first virgin faith of the Church, 
tion o N n°Huma A n m the earliest ages, a far wider, more gen- 
erous, and Christ-like spirit prevailed. To 
the testimonies then collected out of the scanty remains 


which have come down to us I add the following from 
Irenseus and from St. Clement: ''For it was not merely 
for those who believed on Him in the time of Tiberius 
Caesar that Christ came, nor did the Father exercise His 
providence for men only who are now alive, but for all 
men altogether, who from the beginning, according to their 
capacity in their generation, have loved and feared God, 
and practiced justice and piety toward their neighbors, 
and have earnestly desired to see Christ, and to hear His 
voice." (Irenazus v. Her., book iv, chap. 22, sec. 2.) 

This passage becomes more beautiful and expressive 
when compared with the language in which the coining 
Messiah was announced by the Prophet Haggai, "And 
the Desire of all nations shall come." 

St. Clement, the first in the bright array of the Chris- 
tian Fathers, and whose Epistle to the Corinthians stands 
next to Holy Scripture, uses many incidental expressions 
in that beautiful book, which show his sense of the glori- 
ous comprehensiveness of the work of Christ as performed 
for the whole race of mankind. In chapter 4 he says: 
"Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see 
how precious His blood is in the sight of God, which, being 
shed for our salvation, has obtained the grace of repent- 
ance for all the world. Let us search into all the ages that 
have gone before us, and let us learn that our Lord has in 
every one of them still given place for repentance to all 
such as would turn to him. Noah preached repentance, 
and as many as hearkened to him were saved. Jonah 
denounced destruction against the Ninevites, howbeit they, 
repenting of their sins, appeased God by their prayers and 
were saved, though they were strangers to the covenant of God. 
Hence we find how ail the ministers of the grace of God 
have spoken by the Holy Spirit of repentance." 

Here it is abundantly evident that St. Clement recog- 


nizes the grace of Christ and His mediation prevailing in 
all the ages and in all the world as the source of all the 
goodness of men. In chapter 14 he speaks of "that faith 
by which God Almighty has justified all men from the 
beginning." And in the same spirit, "All the ages of 
the world, from Adam even unto this day, are passed* 
away ; but they who have been made perfect in love have 
by the grace of God obtained a place among the righteous, 
and shall be made manifest in the judgment of the king- 
dom of Christ." (Chapter 21.) And to show who, in his 
estimation, were these "righteous" in all the ages, he 
classes together, in the next chapter, the Gentiles and the 
Covenant people as "strengthened by the grace of God" 
to do many glorious things. 

8. This verv point has been solemnlv de- 

g8. Synodical . Vi • ™ i 

action of the termmed by the Convocation of the Church 

Church of En- „ 

gland on this oi .England, as appears from chapter 6b, 
canon 36, of Overall's Convocation Book: 
"It is generally agreed upon amongst all Christians that 
from the creation of mankind during the times aforesaid 
there hath always been one Universal or Catholic Church, 
which began in Adam, and afterward, as his posterity mul- 
tiplied, both before and after the flood, was dispersed over 
the face of the whole earth, and whereof the Son of God 
likewise was always the head and sole, though invisible, 
monarch. The foundation of which Church was ever one 
and the same rock; to w T it, Jesus Christ, the promised 
• seed of the woman that should break the serpent's head ; ' 
and as many persons, families, societies, and companies as 
truly believed in that blessed Seed, without exception of 
any sort or distinction of people, were the true members 
and parts of the Catholic Church." 

After tracing the progress of this Church down to the 
calling of Abraham, the chapter goes on : 


. "Besides, hitherto all the world being as one people, if 
there were then any visible Churches at all upon the earth, 
it can not be truly said that the calling of Abraham out 
of Chaldea, and the erecting of the true worship of God 
in his family, did make them to be in worse case than they 
were before. If Churches before, they so continued after, 
though superstitious and idolatrous Churches. Again, it 
is generally held that God did not therefore distinguish the 
Jews from other nations and people, and settle His public 
worship amongst them as purposing thereby that His Cath- 
olic Church in their times should consist only of them and 
their nations, and such other proselytes as would be cir- 
cumcised and join themselves unto them ; but much more 
because by that means the truth and certainty of all the 
promises and prophecies concerning the coming of the 
Messiah might be faithfully and diligently observed, and 
kept in one nation, and visible, known place and people. 
For it is plain in the Scriptures that after the said distinc- 
tion many of the Gentiles served God and believed in 
Christ, and were thereby made the true members of the 
Catholic Church, though they were not circumcised nor 
had any meddling with or dependency upofl the Jews." 
"So that the Catholic Church, consisting from the begin- 
ning till Abraham's time of such only as were afterward 
for distinction's sake called Gentiles, although God was 
pleased to bestow His mercies more plentifully upon that 
one particular Church of the Jews deduced from Abraham 
than upon any other, or indeed upon all the rest, for tne 
principal causes before specified ; yet they were not utterly 
so rejected or cast out of God's favor but that many of 
them did continue as dutiful children in the lap and bosom 
of the Catholic Church." 

The canon which follows this chapter, and formally 


enacts the principles more largely declared in it, is very- 
notable and of great interest. 

"Canon 36. 

"If any man therefore shall affirm either that during 
the continuance of the Old Testament the merits of Christ's 
death actually to come were not sufficient to save all true 
believers ; or that there was then no Catholic Church ; or 
that at any time there was any other rock but Jesus Christ, 
the blessed Seed, upon whom the Catholic Church was then 
built ; or tliat many of the Gentiles were not always, for aught 
that is known to the contrary, true members of the Catholic 
Church; or that Christ Himself was not the sole head or 
monarch all that while of the whole Catholic Church; or 
that the said Catholic Church, after the members of it 
were dispersed into all the places of the world, was other- 
wise visible than per partes ; or that Noah did appoint any 
man to be the visible head of the said Catholic Church ; 
or that the High-priest among the Jews had any more 
authority over the Catholic Church of God than King 
David had over the universal kingdom of God ; or that 
the said High-priest had not greatly sinned if he had taken 
upon him or usurped any such infinite authority, he doth 
greatly err. Placet eis." (Book i, chap. 36.) 

"IZe doth greatly err." And all who concur in thus de- 
faming the grace of God by restricting that grace to 
narrow sections of mankind do "greatly err." The re- 
fusal of Christian teachers to maintain and publish this 
grand comprehensiveness of the Gospel, while holding fast 
all dogmatic truth in the same Divine connection, is the 
crying opprobrium of modern religion. The failure to 
hold these truths in their just connection throws off one 
section of the community into the wildest libertinism of 
speculative opinion, and contracts another section into 


a narrow exclusiveness of dogma irreconcilable with the 
exercise of a generous and salutary influence upon the 
higher classes of minds. 

Thus it appears that the principle which I have so ear- 
nestly pressed, and which has been -as earnestly opposed, 
was Synodically affirmed in stronger language and by a 
more expressive representation by the whole Church of 
England in the Convocation which assembled in the year 
1603 and continued its session to 1610. It was a grand 
and beautiful presentation of this great truth, worthy of 
the Church of England in her palmiest days, to describe 
all the generations of believing men in all the earth as 
composing the one Catholic Church of God. However 
corrupt and idolatrous in its parts, that Church was still 
within the covenant, and all its members were reached by 
the life-bestowing power of the Incarnation, and recipients 
of the grace that offered salvation. 

The faith by which these men believed and worshiped, 
however inadequate the object of that faith, and however 
imperfect that worship, was itself the precious gift of God 
to all men through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are called 
upon in these later days to vindicate the certain existence 
of faith as a ruling power of the human soul, in opposition 
to the Atheists, who deny that there is any such faculty in 
man as faith. The Atheists base their denial upon the 
transparent sophism that because there are so many differ- 
ences and even oppositions in the objects of faith, therefore 
there is no such faculty as faith. They forget that the 
corrupt use of a faculty is just as certain proof of the 
existence of the faculty as the right use of it. 

It will be easy to prove against these men that this 
universal gift of God has been in all nations and ages the 
foundation and essential condition of morality and of social 
order, of all real knowledge and of all human progress. 


Surely Christian men will not come to the assistance of 
this atheistic party, and deny the existence of the faith 
that produced these results, because the blinded hearts of 
men gradually obscured and hid from them the true and 
proper object of faith, the One Eternal God. The English 
Convocation, in the action just referred to, and in the very 
spirit of St. Paul's account of the same gradual apostasy, 
significantly meets this objection. In the chapter above 
cited they say: "Likewise after the flood all Noah's off- 
spring, being one Church under him, and grounded upon 
Christ, the true foundation of it, although afterward, when 
they were settled in their several countries allotted unto 
them, they swerved greatly from that purity in religion 
which Noah had taught them, yet they had still their 
priests, their sacrifices, and some outward worship of God 
among them." 

So then, as the Convocation plainly affirms, these Gen- 
tiles still used this inestimable gift of God to some good 
effect, although they had lamentably lost sight of the One 
True Object of faith. The same comprehensive principle 
is often referred to in other parts of this work, as especially 
in book ii, chap. 11. 

The universal grace of God through Christ vouchsafed 
to all men, and "saving," as Bishop Andrews says, to all 
who will rightly use it, must now be confessed a recognized 
doctrine of the Church of England, and surely will not 
again be spoken of as a novelty in that Church or in ours. 

The Canons set forth in this book only failed to become 

law for want of the signature of King James I. , who feared 

that some expressions in them peered too curiously into the 

foundation of his royal prerogative. 

__ „ , 9. In suggestive connection with this de- 

go. Bishop An- ©=> 

drews. termination of the English Convocation there 

is a curious and learned treatise by Bishop Andrews, enti- 


tied "A Discourse of Ceremonies Retained and Used in 
Christian Churches." Bishop Andrews, who was certainly 
a member of that Convocation, instances in this treatise a 
great number of particulars in which there is a striking 
agreement between the Heathen and the Christian polity, 
custom, and worship. And this, he argues, not in deroga- 
tion of the Christian practice, but in proof that these 
Heathen customs and worship were parts of that primitive 
ritual which God had given to His Catholic Church, as the 
above-cited canon speaks, and which, being right and 
proper in themselves, and suitable to the nature and neces- 
sities of men, were continued in the Jewish Church and in 
the Christian Church. So that the difference between 
Heathen and Christian in this respect is not so much in 
outward observance or in the original principle of both, 
but in the utter and foul corruption of the first, together 
with the loss of the true knowledge of God. The Christian 
religion and worship are the old primitive religion and 
worship, cleansed from all base defilements; pure, and 
with the true knowledge of God restored and enlarged. 
a , n x, „ , 10. To these ancient testimonies let me • 

glO. Richard 

Holt Hutton. a( jd a y erv instructive fact occurring in our 
own time. Richard Holt Hutton, a distinguished member 
of a distinguished English family of thinkers and scholars, 
early trained in Unitarian negations, and for many years 
tenaciously holding the tenets of that sect, found his way 
out of darkness into light through a clear perception of 
this great truth which he saw to be involved in the very 
nature of the Incarnation. From his admirable and sug- 
gestive essay, entitled "The Incarnation and Principles of 
Evidence," I take the following passages : 

"The Incarnation, if believable, seems to me to throw 
a strong light on the seeming contradictions of human 
nature — contradictions which are only brought out into 


sharper relief by a fuller knowledge of the Creator. . . . 
The knowledge we have gained either humiliates and 
crushes us, or produces an artificial elation. We either 
crouch with the highest of purely Jewish minds, or become 
urbanely self-content with the Pelagian-Unitarian thinkers. 
We either cry, ' Woe is me ! for I am undone, because I 
am a man of unclean lips and dwell amongst a people of 
unclean lips ; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord 
of hosts ! ' or we congratulate ourselves that we are, by 
inherent right, children of God, 'born good,' as Lord Pal- 
merston said, and have no profound need, therefore, of 
purification at all. The humiliation alone, and the exalt- 
ation alone, are alike false to the facts within us and 
destructive of the true springs of human hope. 

"What we want is some universal fountain of Divine 
Life within us which shall yet not blind us in any way to 
the truth that we ourselves are not by our own right chil- 
dren of God, but only become so through One who is. 
We need a reconciliation of the fact of the unhealthy 
egoism of our own individualities with the equally certain 
fact of a Divine Light struggling with that egoism and 
claiming us as true children of God. 

"The Incarnation alone helps us adequately to under- 
stand ourselves; it reconciles the language of servile 
humiliation with the language of rightful children. Both 
are true. The unclean slave and the free child of Heaven 
are both within us. The Incarnation shows us the true 
child of God — the filial will which never lost its majesty, 
which never tasted the impurity of human sin — and so 
still further abases us ; but then it shows him as the incar- 
nate revelation of that Eternal Son and Word whose filial 
light and life can stream into and take possession of us 
with power to make us like Himself. The Incarnation 
alone seems to me adequately to reconcile the contradictory 


facts of a double nature in man — the separate individuality 
which has no health of its own, and turns every principle 
to evil directly it begins to revolve on its own center, and 
the Divine nature which lends it a true place and true 
subordination in the kingdom of God. ' We are not,' said 
Athanasius, l hy nature sons of God, but the Son in us 
makes us so ; also God is not by nature our Father, but He 
is the Father of the Word dwelling in us ; for in Him and 
through Him we cry, Abba, Father.' It is obvious that 
Athanasius uses the word 'nature' here in a much nar- 
rower sense than Bishop Butler. In the largest sense it is 
our true 'nature' to live in and through the Eternal Word. 
But what he meant — namely, that not by virtue of any- 
thing in our own strict personality or individuality, only by 
virtue of the divine life engrafted upon that personality or 
individuality, do we become sons of God — seems to me the 
very truth which St. John reveals : ' He came unto his own 
and his own received him not, but as many as received him 
to them gave he power to become sons of God.' This 
teaching, and this alone, seems to vindicate the divine 
nature in us without leading us into the delusion that it is 
of us." 

Elsewhere this clear thinker says: "Surely all the ex- 
pansive power of Christianity — all that adapts it to the 
purpose of the ages — has been directly due to the faith in 
a 'light that lighteth every man which cometh into the 
world,' and in the incarnation of that light in the human 
life of Jesus of Nazareth." 

The generous and scriptural views of the fullness of the 
redemption that is in Christ Jesus which at first prevailed 
in the Church soon gave way before the natural intol- 
erance of the human heart and the narrowness of the 
mere theological intellect, and presently we hear the very 
Fathers who, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, in 


the General Councils vindicated so nobly the great truth, 
that in Christ human nature had been assumed, redeemed, 
and sanctified, restraining &1\ this wealth of love to the 
baptized. This technical and Christ-defaming dogma they 
sternly carried out to its apparent consequence, and re- 
morselessly consigned all unbaptized infants, as well as 
adults, to everlasting damnation. At the same time they 
field, as we have seen, that supernatural grace is necessary 
to produce that faith and repentance which are required 
is conditions of Baptism; or, as Hooker expresses it, "a 
oarticipation" of Christ, "presupposed as the foundation 
first laid of all the other operations of the Spirit of Christ, to 

Put these two propositions together, and the combination 
is a clear denial of the possibility of repentance and faith 
to any but the baptized. And as these graces are the con- 
dition precedent, the condition sine qua non of Baptism, 
the two statements deny the possibility of Baptism to those 
who are not already baptized. That is to say, if both 
statements are to be received as true, they logically destroy 
the Christian Religion by resolving it into contradictory 
and mutually destroying affirmations. Both, therefore, 
can not be true. That which is but a fuller expression 
of the Creed, and the very sense of the definitions of the 
early Councils, must be confessed as true; and the other, 
which contradicts it, is of necessity false. 

The issue between these two contrasted views of human 
nature and its relations is distinct and plain. It will not 
do to play fast and loose with these systems, and use 
indifferently the language of both. When the Puritan 
Calvinist affirms that a man can have no participation of 
Christ and no spiritual life until he is converted, he plainly 
affirms with Pelagius that the natural man apart from 
Christ is capable of those Christian graces, faith and re- 


pentance, which are the necessary antecedents of conver- 
sion. When another person uses the language of medi- 
aeval theology, and says there can be no participation of 
Christ and no spiritual life without Baptism, he also 
affirms with Pelagius that the natural man can exercise 
those highest functions of spiritual life, faith and repent- 
ance, which are conditions sine qua non of Baptism. For 
these same parties to turn around then and denounce Pe- 
lagianism as false is to make Christianity a tangled web 
of contradictions and inconsistencies, the very result which 
has driven so many plain people away from Christianity. 
11. A striking illustration of the circle in 

§11. Baptism . . 

and the Agency which the human mind moves occurred the 

of the Church . . • 

in the matter other day in connection with this subject. 

of Salvation. / . . . . 

When, in answer to his inquiries, 1 stated 
this doctrine of the Incarnation to a young divine, he 
inquired, "Of what value then is the Church, and what 
is the use of Baptism?" They were the very questions 
which the Jews put to St. Paul eighteen hundred years 
ago. When he argued the salvability of the Gentiles 
through Christ, the Saviour of the world, their puzzled 
inquiry was, "What advantage then hath the Jew? or 
what profit is there in circumcision ? " It was easy to re- 
turn to our querist the answer which St. Paul gave to the 
objectors of his day, "Much every way." 

The greatest of all truths becomes a falsehood when 
severed from its divine connections. So universal redemp- 
tion has been perverted to the dogma of universal salva- 
tion, irrespective of human freedom. The spiritual life 
thus imparted to humanity by the Incarnation, like all 
derived life, must be nourished by continual supply from 
the Fountain of Life, or it will die. Our Lord has ruled 
the whole case by a multitude of teachings. He is the 
Body, we are the members. He says emphatically, "I am 


the Vine, ye are the branches. If any man abide not in 
Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and 
men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they 
are burned." 

Where the Gospel is preached, where the revealed will 
of God is made known, there faith, worship, and the sacra- 
ments are the constituted channels of spiritual nourish- 
ment to the redeemed. Cut off' by unbelief or by wanton 
neglect from these channels of supply from Christ the 
Fountain, the pre-existing life of the soul shrinks, decays, 
perishes. Place a compress upon the arm sufficient to pre- 
vent the continuous flow of blood and nerve power to the 
parts below: how soon would the vigorous life of that 
strong and steady hand be fatally impaired, and after a 
while mortification would ensue, and amputation of the 
dead and gangrened member become necessary ! 

Human will perversely exercised acts as this compress, 
cutting off* the rebellious man from the Fountain of Life. 
It is this will which refuses to use the means and channels 
of grace, choosing this world and its lusts as a sufficient 
portion, and the bondage of Satan in place of that service 
of God which is perfect freedom. The very process, in 
the analogous illustration, has been precisely described by 
the Lord of life : "I am the true Vine, and My Father is 
the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not 
fruit He taketh away." (St. John xv, 1.) 

Human freedom, human will, mysteriously concur with 
the Divine will in all the relations between God and man. 
The Divine will makes the earth fruitful ; but man must 
plow and sow and wait for the increase. The life of 
Christ has been imparted to all men by the Holy Ghost 
in the adorable mystery of the Incarnation ; and the 
means by which that life may be so vigorously maintained, 
nourished, and developed in this world as to secure eternal 


life in the world to come, have been freely placed within 
the reach and subject to the use of all to whom the Gos- 
pel is proposed — to whom "the Kingdom of God has 
come." Through these channels rightly employed spirit- 
ual food, power, growth, enlargement, continually come to 
our nature to purify it, to assimilate it more and more 
perfectly to the nature of the Word made Flesh. Because 
He will have none but a free-will worship, God requires 
His redeemed to accept or reject the use of these means of 
grace, the channels of His life and power. By Baptism 
we are reborn into that glorious kingdom which came 
down from Heaven in the Person of the Incarnate Lord. 
Then, as citizens of that kingdom, we have the freedom, 
the unrestricted use, of all the precious means and myste- 
ries of salvation.* 

This is the meaning and the use of Baptism. This is 
the value of that Church of the living God which is the 
mystical Body of Christ. This is the answer which St. 

*L'Estrange carries on the analogy between natural birth and spiritual 
birth in Baptism further than I have done. Speaking of Baptism, he says : 
"And to that custom of washing new-born babes Mr. Mede, another very 
learned man, hath applied it. Indeed the analogy and conformity between 
Christian Baptism and that custom is concise and proper, both in relation 
to the laver and also to regeneration : in relation to the laver, because 
as the laver or elemental water doth wash away and cleanse our bodies 
from filth contracted, so doth the mystical washing of the Holy Ghost 
purge our souls from all further pollution ; in relation to regeneration, for as 
it is at our generation, so it is in our regeneration. At our generation, or birth, 
when we were born men, we were washed, so are we when we are born Chris- 
tians, and washed from a pollution exactly agreeable also. When we were born 
we were washed from the pollution we contracted from our parent's womb; 
when we are new-born we are washed by Baptism from that original sin 
which is derived to us from our first parents." (Alliance of Divine Offices, 
page 353. Anglo. Cath. Lib.) 

My friend, Dr. Everhart, in an able article in the Am. Quar. Church Review, 
had presented the same feature of the analogy in a very forcible way some 
years before I found the above confirmation of his view from so high an 

It gives me pleasure to refer in this connection to a small but admirable 
pamphlet, entitled "Birth and New Birth," by the Rev. Edward J.Stearns, A. M. 


Paul furnished to the ancient Jew and to the modern 
inquirer. "Much everyway; chiefly, because that unto 
them were committed the oracles of God," all the coristi- 
tuted channels of knowledge and of grace. "Therefore," he 
concludes, "being justified by faith, we have peace with 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ : by Whom also we 
have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, 
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Rom. iii, 2; 
v, 1, 2.) 

Those who make Baptism to be the first conveyance of 
spiritual life to our nature, and those again who restrict 
that life to the conversion of the adult subject, do both, 
although in different degrees, detract from the essential 
value of the Church of God as the appointed agency of 
salvation. Instead of being, as some suppose, a human 
expediency, or at best a mere accident of Christianity, 
that Church is constantly spoken of by our blessed Lord 
as the synonym of Christianity, as the comprehensive 
formula for the whole body of truth. He Himself com- 
menced his public ministry by preaching "the kingdom of 
of God is at hand;" and by "preaching the Gospel of the 
kingdom." The Apostles were sent forth to "preach the 
kingdom of God;" and again the seventy are commanded 
to "say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh 
unto you." 

That gross exaggeration of the necessity of Baptism 
which induced the ancients to allot damnation to all un- 
baptized infants, came from a failure to appreciate the 
transcendent mystery of the one Kingdom of God estab- 
lished on earth as the refuge and home of the redeemed, 
of those who, being first "made alive in Christ," are re- 
ceived into that kingdom for nurture, for protection, for 
the continued supply of His grace, His life, His strength. 
Thus undervaluing the ministry of the Kingdom on earth, 


they understood our Lord in His conversation with Nico- 
demus to mean by "the Kingdom of God" exclusively 
the state of eternal glory. Therefore they supposed our 
Lord to say that no one without Baptism could see or enter 
into eternal life. Many were the shifts, evasions, and 
subterfuges to which the more compassionate theologians 
were driven to escape from the cruel consequences of this 
palpable misrepresentation. And out of them all has 
come the Romish conceit of a " Limbus Fuerorum" a 
sort of milder hell for the unbaptized children. But our 
Lord's words on this occasion were the same as when he 
certainly spoke of that Kingdom which he had established 
in the world as the appointed ministry of salvation to His 
redeemed. And this He himself distinctly affirmed when 
He added, "If I have told you earthly things and ye believe 
not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things ?" 

It would be apart from the meaning and purpose of the 
Gospel to tell us anything of the provision which God has 
made for the preservation and development of the life of 
quicked humanity in those to whom the Gospel has never 
been proposed ; but it is plain to see how the moral life 
had decayed in all, heathendom, ancient and modern, for 
want of the Church with its life-sustaining Sacraments 
and fructifying Word. 

In the following passage St. Augustine lays down broad 
and generous principles in regard both to Baptism and to 
Conversion, which should have preserved his own and suc- 
ceeding generations from much of the technical narrow- 
ness of his own theology. Speaking of infants who can 
not believe, and of the penitent thief who was not bap- 
tized, he says: "By all which it appears that the sacra- 
ment of Baptism is one thing, and Conversion of the 
heart another : but that the salvation of a person is com- 
pleted by both of them. And if one of these be wanting, 


we are not to think that it follows that the other is want- 
ing; since one may be without the other in an infant, and 
the other was without that in the thief: God Almighty 
making up, both in one and other case, that which was not 
willfully wanting. But when either of these is willfully 
wanting, it involves the person in guilt. And Baptism 
indeed may be had where conversion of the heart is want- 
ing; but conversion of the heart, though it may be where 
Baptism is not had, can not be where it is contemned : for 
that is by no means to be conversion of the heart to God 
where the sacrament of God is contemned." (Cited by 
Wall, vol. i, chap. 15.) 




1. A difficulty in the way of the reception of this 
truth is found by some persons in the implication con- 
tained in the language of Article 13: "Works done before 
the grace of Christ and the Inspiration of 

2 1. Article 13. 

his Spirit are not pleasant to God, foras- 
much as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ ; neither 
do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School 
authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for 
that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded 
them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature 
of sin." 

Literally taken, the article strongly affirms the very 
truth I have been advocating, that the grace of God goes 
before and inspires all good works. But the article con- 
templates more than this. Evidently it has not in view 
at all the question now before us. Its sole purpose was to 
deny a Romish conceit derived from the mediaeval School- 
men. Its special determination is against the doctrine 
that men may by good works ' ' deserve grace of congru- 
ity." Being thus limited in its scope, the implication in 
the first clause ought not to be strained into the positive 
assertion that men may do good works without the grace 
of Christ. All that the article asserts is that those who 
reject or despise that grace can not by good works merit 
or purchase the grace they have so contumeliously treated. 

But why should we try to make a verbal technicality, 


if ever so obstinate, override two of the most incontro- 
vertible facts? One of these facts universal observation 
attests, that the baptized and the unbaptized, with equal 
advantages of Christian culture or equally neglected, do 
not manifest any difference of religious knowledge and 
feeling except that which is common to any other persons 
in either class. The second fact is contained in and re- 
quired by the same formulary in which the technical ob- 
jection is found; viz., that the most characteristic graces 
of the Spirit, the energetic movements and strivings of 
spiritual life — Repentance and Faith — must be exhibited 
by the unbaptized adult as the condition of baptism. 

2. Again it is suggested that the word 

12. A NEW & && . 

translation of translated "born" in the conversation of our 

John iii, 3-5. _, . . __. n , 

baviour with JNicodemus properly means 
"begotten." The word by itself may be rendered either 
way, arid the proper meaning must be determined by the 
context. The context here precludes the rendering "be- 
gotten." For the question of Nicodemus, "How can a 
man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second 
time into his mother's womb and be born?" is capable of 
an answer corresponding to the physiological facts of the 
analogy. To substitute "begotten" for the translation so 
long used by the Church makes the intended analogy ut- 
terly incongruous. A living person, old or young — and in 
the Christian mystery the old must become as "a little 
child" — may be "born again" from the womb of naturo 
into the Kingdom of Grace. But for a living person, 
conscious or unconscious, to be rebegotten is an entire 
departure from the physical analogy. It is true that else- 
where, by a different figure, where the implantation of 
faith and hope is represented, the word is properly ren- 
dered "begotten." 

Again, to substitute "rebegotten" for "reborn" Id this 


place is to conform the passage exclusively to the Puritan 
theology, and to put out of view altogether the Church of 
God, and the agency of that Church in the whole work of 
salvation. If there is here in these declarations of our 
Lord nothing but a spiritual conception, the Church is left 
out of view, and has no proper or assigned agency in the 
development of the Divine life so imparted. That life, 
according to this rendering, so far as this passage teaches, 
will subsist and grow of its intrinsic energy, without any 
external means. But this supposition contradicts the con- 
current voice of the Church in all ages interpreting this 
pregnant passage. 

3. In defense of those narrow and tech- 

§3. The words . . 

of St. John, i, meal dogmas which deny that by the Incar- 
tion Christ quickened our nature the words of 
St. John, i, 12 — "As many as received Him to them gave 
He power to become the sons of God, even to them that 
believe on His name" — are cited by the two opposing classes 
as the warrant for their respective systems, and as the 
complete refutation of that more generous view of this 
stupendous mystery which makes it indeed the Evangel — 
glad news of great joy to all people. 

To give such meaning to these words, to make them thus 
to circumscribe the glorious Gospel,* they are torn from 
their connection with the passage to which they belong, 
and put forward as an isolated and independent dictum. 
The words, "To as many as received Him," are declared to 
be emphatic and decisive of the whole question. But if 
we misinterpret these words into a denial of spiritual life, 
of any 'participation of Christ, to all who have not consciously 
received Him by hearing and believing, then all the infant 
portion of the race — even the baptized — are cut off from 
the benefits of the incarnation, and consigned therefore to 
the unrelieved darkness of eternal death ! 


Moreover, this interpretation makes this sentence a point- 
blank contradiction of the grand and more emphatic de- 
clarations that immediately precede it. "In Him was life, 
and the life was the light of men. . . . That was the 
true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the 
world." That cardinal principle of interpretation which 
requires us to give effect to all the parts of the same docu- 
ment, and so to combine them as to give to the whole a 
meaning which does not destroy or contradict any part, 
easily resolves the difficulty and removes the alleged ob- 
jection. This principle of interpretation demands that we 
take this last declaration as cumulative; not narrowing or 
destroying what went before, but affirming the same truth 
in another and special application of it. In this sense the 
words, "as many as received Him," are emphatic. St. John 
passes from the contemplation of mankind — the race — 
visited and vivified by the Divine humanity, to the con- 
templation of the concurrent mystery — human will — freely 
and consciously accepting or rejecting this supernatural 
aid, this Divine election. The passage is a recognition of 
this freedom, this awful prerogative of redeemed human- 
ity, and again affirms that to all to whom this life has 
come, and who consciously receive it, 'power shall be given 
to become the sons of God in the highest sense ; power to 
resist and overcome the corruption of nature, the wiles of 
the Devil, and the temptations of the world, and to achieve 
the consummate meaning and glory of the Divine adoption. 

The immediate context proves this meaning. After an- 
nouncing the grand and universal truth above cited, the 
'Evangelist calls to mind man's freedom and perverted will, 
and sadly recognizes the inbred sin which induced so many 
to reject Him, even His own covenant people. "He came 
unto His own, and His own received Him not." Turning 
again from this disheartening contemplation to consider 


the virtue of the new life which can cure this distemper of 
humanity, he joyfully exclaims : "But as many as received 
Him to them gave He power to become sons of God." 
The whole of this passage plainly refers to the limiting- 
declaration, "His own received Him not;" and instead of 
limiting the universal proposition first announced, is simply 
a qualification of the bar which human will consciously 
exerted puts to the full and consummate operation of that 
universal truth. The whole declaration is equivalent to 
the words of our blessed Lord, reported by the same 
Evangelist, and a like recognition and assertion of human 
freedom in the whole economy of redemption, "And this 
is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and 
men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds 
were evil." (St. John iii, 19.) 

4. Nearly all the objectors to that view of 
§•4. A Tran- ... 

scendental Ob- the Divine Life set forth in this work as 

JECTION. ' ..;.., 

having its necessary initiative m the mystery 
of the incarnation dwell much upon an imagined conse- 
quence of the fall, as, using the language of the Bible and 
the Church, I have spoken of that portentous fact. It is 
declared that " in a being in such a condition there would 
be no place of entertainment for the Divine Spirit ; that it 
would remove him as far from the possibility of salvation 
as if he were a beast, a stock, or a stone." I have never 
been able to comprehend the force or meaning of these 
representations. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the 
essence of the human soul, or with the limits of the vivi- 
fying power of the Divine Spirit, to affirm that human 
nature can be beyond the reach of influence from that 
Spirit. Certainly the Scriptures do not encourage us to 
set limits to the Spirit's power. A Prophet once inquired, 
"Can these dry bones live?" And Jesus said, "If these 
should hold their peace the very stones would cry out." 


I have simply affirmed with the Church, that man in 
his own nature, untouched by the Divine humanity of his 
Redeemer, is "very far" — "quam longissime," as far as 
possible according to his nature — "gone from original 
righteousness." What that ruined nature would have 
been without the incarnation, in its essence and possibili- 
ties; how much of the defaced image of God remained in 
man, we are not told, and therefore we can not know. 
Only it is certain from the testimony of the Scriptures and 
of the Church that to make this fallen creature capable of 
loving and of doing good, of loving and seeking after God, 
the Spirit of God must move upon his heart, quicken his 
nature, and impart at once the desire and the capacity for 
comni uiion with God. And this transcendent spiritual 
operation is not by mechanical force upon brute nature, 
but by inclining and co-operating with the human faculties. 
The work of the spirit to this extent has been procured for 
human nature in its entirety by the adorable mystery of 
the incarnation of the Son of God. The objection to this 
Christian affirmation, founded upon any supposable or im- 
agined state of human nature, is to me simply unintelligible. 
35 a wortd- ^' That the revelation makes the Church 
^L^x^J^ and its ministrations the way of salvation is 


side of revela- b ut tne syn onym of the fact that the Church 


counted for. j s an integral part of the revelation, and that 
all to whom the revelation comes must accept this appointed 
way. But there is a world-wide field of phenomena out- 
side of the revelation which can not be overlooked. The 
revelation does not distinctly treat of these phenomena; 
neither does it state formally the being of God or the 
immortality of the soul. It assumes these and many 
other verities as the basis of its positive teaching. I have 
simply formulated some of these all-pervading phenomena, 

and exhibited their relation to the Gospel and to the king- 


dom of God, on the principles abundantly supplied by the 
revelation itself. A broad and intelligible basis is thus 
presented for the positive teachings of the revelation. 

To demand that the revelation shall be always nakedly 
presented to the minds of men as a mere arbitrary and 
technical system, apart from the universal truths which 
itself assumes and recognizes, is to deal unfairly with the 
Gospel, is to put it out of relation with the thoughts and 
hopes and affections of men and with the better spirit of 
the age in which we live. If the ministers of this Divine 
truth are determined thus to present it in severe isolation 
from all accordant truth, as a system outside of humanity, 
it will be rejected, as they see, by a large class of the bet- 
ter minds. Not so was the revelation given. It was given 
to men with mind and capacity to see and consider and 
entertain all the phenomena of life and character and 
condition contained in the world's history. It was given, 
not as an isolated fact, unconnected with any other truth, 
but as a component part of a beautiful harmony of the 
universe. And it contains the principles, large, liberal, 
and pervading, by which its own special truths may be 
rationally connected with these universal phenomena of 
human character and destiny submitted to our view. And 
so, as we have seen, the early Church received and under- 
stood the revelation. 

a ' -n- 6. The reaction from the stern, narrow, 

§ 6. HUMANI- > ' ' 

takianism. anc l technical theology insisted upon by 

many theologians of a later period and in our own time 
has produced that widespread humanitarianism which is so 
painfully affecting the Christian faith. It has become a 
familiar observation that every heresy, every revolt from 
loyal submission to Christian truth, has come from the 
fact that the Church in a particular age has slurred over 
or left out of view some great truth. When, by the pro- 


gress of knowledge or by other providences, this neglected 
truth is made especially prominent, and the current the- 
ology stiffly refuses to accept or acknowledge it, then the 
men of fiery zeal and of contracted vision on the other 
side give to their one dominant idea an unnatural develop- 
ment, and make it by disproportion an excrescence upon 
Christianity, or use it as a reason for rejecting Christianity. 
So, the progress of thought and the enlarged knowledge 
of mankind in our age have brought into unaccustomed 
prominence the contrast between the narrow and technical 
theology which restrains all the wealth of Divine love, all 
the glorious mediation of the God-Man, to the small num- 
ber of the baptized or of the consciously converted, and 
those grand and universal facts of human life and character 
presented in an appreciable degree hy all men, "which," St. 
Paul assures us, "show the work of the law written in 
their hearts." (Rom. ii, 15.) Nothing but the narrow- 
ness of view produced by the exclusive study of an arti- 
ficial system could hide from men this better aspect of 
redeemed humanity, and prevent them from recognizing 
the gracious influences of the Spirit of life and light work- 
ing out in all nations the generous problem of the same 
Apostle, "If the uncircumcision keep the righteousness 
of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for 
circumcision?" (Rom. ii, 26.) Revolting from the par- 
tial theology which presents this strong contrast between 
its own artificial system and the plainest facts of observa- 
tion and consciousness, men renounce the Christianity so 
presented, and undertake to build up another one-sided 
system out of these facts of observation and consciousness, 
disregarding revelation altogether. Humanitarianism, in 
all its varied phases — the popular conceit that unaided 
nature worked itself up from brutishness to fetichism, and 
then to Christianity, and now is passing beyond Chris- 


tianity, and that last fearful impiety, that "humanity is 
God" — this system owes much of its currency, I believe, 
to a reaction from the denial of the pervading influence 
of the Incarnation upon the race ; to a reaction from the 
stiff refusal of Christian teachers to behold and confess 
the Eternal Spirit prompting and bringing to good effect 
the good and the beautiful wherever they have appeared 
in human affection and conduct. I have endeavored to 
point out the Christian way of terminating this miserable 
conflict by reconciling with Christian dogma these universal 
facts upon which humanitarianism relies, and clearly ex- 
hibiting the relation between these facts and the supernatural 
revelation — "the kingdom of God." 

I have connected these unquestionable phenomena with 
the rev3aled fact that a portion of the Christ-nature has 
been given to all men through the Incarnation ; that the 
taint of sin derived to every man from the first Adam has 
been as fully met in every man by the virtue derived from 
the Second Adam ; that through Christ the whole race has 
been visited and touched by a living power of righteous- 
ness commensurate with and equal to the corruption of 
nature. The proper place and work of the Church in 
this Divine economy of grace is another essential fact 
which partial systems distort or leave out of view. In 
that Church is provided the food for the new Christ-life, 
corresponding to the food which in the kingdom of nature 
is required for the preservation and growth of the physical 
life. Worship, prayers and praises, Sacraments, and all 
Divine offices; instruction by hearing and reading the 
Word of God, by sermons, exhortations, and catechisings, 
supply the necessary food for the new life of the soul. 

By Baptism we are brought into this Church, reborn 
into the Kingdom of Grace, where is stored all this boun- 
teous provision for the nurture and development of the 


spiritual life — a provision so abundant that it even over- 
flows to the nurture of multitudes beyond the pale of the 
Church. In the catechism the same truth is otherwise 
expressed by the language that in Baptism we "are made 
members of Christ ; " that is we are thereby incorporated 
into His true and mystical Body, "which is the blessed 
company of all faithful people." (Communion Service.) 
We are thereby truly united to Him, "the Head," by 
being made members of that glorious "Church which 
is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." 
(Eph. i, 22, 23.) Under this similitude there flows from 
Christ the Head, through constituted channels, living 
power. The truth is the same however varied may be 
the imagery by which it is expressed. 

By this appointment of material channels of grace, re- 
quiring the concurrence of human will and agency in 
their use with Divine power in their operation, that great 
and awful fact of man's nature, freedom, is recognized 
and provided for as an integral part of the Divine econ- 
omy of salvation. For those innocents indeed who are 
not permitted in this world to arrive at an age to know 
and to choose between good and evil, God Himself makes 
the choice. By virtue of the Incarnation and of the sacri- 
ficial life and death of Christ, He purifies them by His 
Spirit from the taint of sin, and saves them from the peril 
of damnation. But all others must choose for themselves 
according to their varied opportunities. Life and death are 
set before them. Where the Gospel is preached that life 
is manifested — distinctly showed forth — in Christ. Life 
through union with Christ ! Death out of Christ — death 
separated from Christ ! The sacraments provide the means 
and the opportunity of making this choice, sensibly, pal- 
pably, beyond the chance of doubt or misgiving. They 
are outward acts which all the senses witness, which all 


around us witness. By the right use of these sacraments 
we abide in Christ and are nourished by His Spirit. More 
and more of His life is imparted to us, and we live by 
Him. But if we neglect and despise these sacraments, 
then we as truly despise and reject the union with Christ 
which they symbolize, convey, and perfect. And then, 
according to the economy of grace, the life of Christ orig- 
inally imparted to us as the means of our probation, is 
gradually withdrawn, the moral pulse beats with feebler 
stroke, the Spirit warns in fainter tones, the conscience 
loses its sensitiveness and becomes at ease, and presently 
the self-destroyed soul is as the limb severed from the 
Body, as the branch broken from the Vine, fit only for the 




1. At a time of unusual agitation in our Church upon 

the subject of Regeneration, and the connection of Baptism 

with Regeneration, it seemed to me that if 

gl. SUMMAEY. _ , 

the light oi the great truth, the Universality 
of the Grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, could 
be brought to bear upon these vexed questions, the dif- 
ferences between the disputants might be resolved into 
harmless logomachies. A logomachy, while unresolved, 
instead of being harmless, is the most mischievous and 
hopeless of all controversies. For each part}^ is contending 
for a truth, and for want of a mutual understanding can 
never come to an intelligible issue. 

Since that time — twenty-five years ago — the great truth 
which I advocated has forced itself, against the barrier of a 
narrow and technical theology, into more general accept- 
ance ; so that it is affirmed in our Mother Church that the 
recognition and full allowance of this truth must be laid 
at the foundation of all successful missionary work among 
the more cultivated heathen peoples. 

Since that time, also, the progress of the controversy has 
brought the disputants to the ultimate terms of the ques- 
tion on either side, so that it can be more easily taken hold 
of, and its real quality discerned. I propose, therefore, to 


offer here a few additional considerations bearing upon the 
present advanced state of this unprofitable contention. 

2. And, first, it gives me very great pleasure to present 
from the pen of one of the clearest thinkers of our Church 
§2. rege^er- an d country, the late Dr. Samuel Seabury, a 
first contact str0I1 g vindication of the great truth I have 
with^he V hS tried to restore to its proper prominence. 
man nature. From the volume of his "Discourses," pub- 
lished in 1874, I take the following lucid statement : 

"By his act of disobedience Adam lost the life in which 
he was created, and was thus changed from an obedient to 
a disobedient, from a happy to a miserable being. Into 
this state of apostasy, or separation from God, the descend- 
ants of Adam are born, and from this state the Son of God 
interposed to redeem them. He was promised to Adam 
immediately after the fall, and with the promise came 
the thing promised ; for the promises of God are never 
fallacious, but always true. The fallen Adam and his 
posterity were thus made capable of faith and repent- 
ance — acts which can not be acceptably exercised with- 
out the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given as 
the principle of a new life, by whose powerful energy 
man was made capable of being reclaimed from his 

"In a restrained and qualified sense, therefore, the Son 
of God assumed human nature instantly on the fall of 
Adam. He assumed the human nature so far as to com- 
municate to it by the energy of the Holy Spirit the capacity 
or principle of a new and holy life. Unless all men have 
this capacity the Gospel would be preached in vain, for 
none could respond to its call. If man, in virtue of his 
own will, reason, and conscience, or any of the natural 
powers that belong to him as man, could recover himself 


from his apostasy, then Christ died in vain; if man, in 
virtue of his natural strength, could do the least conceiv- 
able thing which would be effectual toward his recovery, 
then would he share with Christ the merit and glory 
of redemption. Neither of these consequences can be ad- 
mitted ; and we therefore conclude that the Eternal Word, 
from the moment of the fall, assumed human nature for 
the accomplishment of His gracious purpose ; so assumed it 
as to be in and with it, though not of it, as the principle 
of a new and heavenly life, bestowing on it the capacity 
of being re-united to God in the life of obedience and hap- 
piness which was lost by the fall." (Discourses, pp. 72-3.) 

This great gift of God to man, providing for the fallen 
creature a new life and a new capacity for holiness, was not 
only a fact in the counsel and eternal purpose of God, and 
by consequence a fact in the actual condition of human 
nature, but it was a fact revealed, as the object of Faith, 
and as the pregnant sense of all the worship and of all the 
sacrificial rites of mankind. The mysterious promise, the 
Seed of the woman shall bruise the Serpent's head, illus- 
trated and enlarged by a continuous stream of prophecy, 
and by all the services of primeval worship, was the solace 
and comfort of all nations, inspired the hopes and directed 
the faith of the whole world. 

The growing and various corruptions of this faith and 
worship gave occasion, first to the call of Abraham, and 
afterward to the establishment of the Mosaic Polity. The 
chosen people thus were made the special guardians and 
keepers of the truth. But the rest of mankind did not 
then and therefore cease to believe in God and in the 
promised redemption. They did not then and therefore 
cease to offer the worship, however corrupted, which em- 
bodied and showed forth that faith. On the contrary, this 


worship and this faith retained their hold upon the world, 
and were the salt and savor of humanity, down to the 
actual birth of Christ, and in some nations long after. It 
is true that by lapse of time and by the progress of corrup- 
tion the traditional faith became more and more obscured. 
And St. Paul, in his address to the Athenians, expressed 
the actual condition of the religious mind in that time and 
country, "Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, Him 
declare I unto you." (Acts xvii, 23.) 

And now a new element in this wondrous provision 
of eternal wisdom for the salvation of the world becomes 
prominent. The Desire of all nations has come. The 
object of the faith of the whole world through all genera- 
tions — the Divine, Human Redeemer; "God, manifest in 
the flesh" — is revealed in time, the Babe of Bethlehem, 
the Fulfiller of the Law, the Teacher of the Nations, the 
One Sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. And yet 
on the eighth day after His human birth He is brought 
iuto the narrow pale of the Jewish Church by Circumcision. 
And at the close of His ministry He commanded that all 
nations as they were converted should be brought into 
His earthly kingdom by Baptism. This earthly kingdom 
of Christ is indeed far wider and more comprehensive than 
Judaism; but compared with mankind, for whom Christ 
came and lived and died, it has continued to be a very 
narrow circle. In contemplation of the corresponding- 
problem in the old time, St. Paul had asked, "Is He the 
God of the Jews only?" The same question, with its satis- 
fying answer, belongs equally to the same problem in its 
Christian form. Is He the God of the Christians only? 
Is He not the God of the Heathen also? 

When we look back and see that but for the restricted 
Jewish Polity all true religion would have disappeared 


from the earth before the coming of Christ, we must ad- 
mire the Divine wisdom which attached such blessings to 
Circumcision and such severe penalties to the neglect of it, 
because through this Circumcision the Jewish Polity was 
maintained and perpetuated, and so the truth was preserved. 

Again, when we see that without the Christian Church 
to keep the Scriptures and to proclaim the Gospel, there 
would have been, since the Apostolic age, no Scriptures 
to keep and no Gospel to proclaim, we are compelled to 
acknowledge and adore the Divine wisdom which has con- 
nected with that Baptism, by ivhich alone the Church is pre- 
served and perpetuated, such rich blessings, such glorious 

It would seem reasonable to suppose that it was in 
contemplation of His design to appoint Baptism as the 
condition and instrument of maintaining the new form 
of the visible kingdom of God, that our blessed Saviour 
adopted and incorporated forever into the language of Christian 
faith arid worship the Jewish formula of speech which made 
the Baptism of a Proselyte, the incorporation of a stranger 
into the Jewish Polity, to be a New Birth. In its original 
application this language and the idea it conveyed were 
familiar to all the covenant people. But the application 
of a figure of such pregnant meaning to themselves, the 
proud and highly-privileged citizens of the kingdom, was the 
hard saying which they could not understand. The decla- 
ration was to their minds revolutionary and destructive — 
a complete reversal of all their cherished preconceptions 
of Messiah's kingdom. To them that kingdom was to be 
the triumph and the world-wide dominion of Judaism. The 
representation which made it to be a new Polity, in relation 
to which Jews and Gentiles stood alike as strangers, and 
into which both alike were to be introduced on equal terms 


by a New Birth, was painfully offensive, and beyond their 
present capacity of comprehension. 

For keeping together in their appropriate place and 
relation the two essential truths of the dispensation of 
grace — first, the gift through Christ and by the Holy 
Ghost of spiritual life to all men, to make them capable 
of faith and obedience ; second, the obligation laid upon 
all to whom this grace is fully revealed to be in visible 
union with the external kingdom which God has estab- 
lished in the world — the figure of a new birth is singularly 
appropriate and expressive. For natural birth is neither 
creation nor conception. It is the entrance of a living 
creature into new and higher relations. 

Is the human mind too small to contain both the parts 
of this great truth ? Is the range of human vision neces- 
sarily so contracted that but one side of this glorious 
manifestation of the grace of God can be seen by any 
one person? Must the children of God forever stand on 
opposite sides of the shield of faith, each proclaiming the 
half truth which he sees, and contradicting and reviling 
his brother because he only sees and proclaims the other 

The objection constantly made, and from opposite quar- 
ters, to one or the other of these two truths, and of course 
to their combination as before represented, is the assertion 
that New Birth and Regeneration, sometimes used as its 
equivalent, are words of too lofty and spiritual significance 
to be restrained to the narrow and frigid sense of a mere 
change of state and of relations. Therefore it is contended 
by one school that Baptism is indeed Regeneration, and 
that Baptism must, by the force of the word, mean the 
first and transcendent communication of spiritual life, the 
Christ-life to our dead nature, thereby denying the first 


of these truths. The answer which the confessed phe- 
nomena of universal humanity gives to this theory is so 
overwhelming that only those can hold it whose minds are 
capable of intrenching themselves out of sight and out 
of reach within the narrow circle of a system of techni- 
calities and arbitrary definitions. 

Another school with equal emphasis affirms that these 
lofty words — New Birth, Regeneration — are degraded by 
applying them to Baptism and to the formal admission of a 
child of God into the visible Church. These words, it de- 
clares, are wholly and intensely spiritual, and designate 
that transcendent operation by which the Eternal Spirit 
first visits and vivifies the dead soul of man, and by which 
that soul consciously receives the grace, and turns to God in 
a life of faith and holiness. 

This theory, like the other, may be confronted with a 
vast array of phenomena of human life and history utterly 
irreconcilable with it. But I am more anxious to point 
out the element of truth which is in both these systems, 
and gives to them their vitality and force. 

The words we are considering are the loftiest in human 
language, and contain the noblest conceptions of human 
capacity and destiny of which the human mind is capable. 
Arbitrarily and exclusively to restrain them to Baptism, 
or to any form of admission into the visible kingdom of 
Christ, is to circumscribe within narrow limits their bound- 
less import. They reach to and express those transcendent 
relations between God and man by which it was provided 
in the everlasting covenant that the taint and curse of sin 
in human nature should be cured by the contact of the 
Eternal Spirit with that nature, thereby to restore the 
degenerate child of man to purity, to holiness, to God, to 
heaven. The Regeneration sweeps through the whole 


compass of the Divine decree and of the Divine acts, by 
which this glorious consummation is accomplished, and 
includes them all. It has a beginning, a progress, and an 
end — a consummation far above the reach of human im- 
agining; for "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither 
hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God 
hath prepared for them that love Him." (1 Cor. ii, 9.) 

The beginning of Regeneration, in this its true and 
legitimate meaning, is in that contact of Christ by the 
Spirit with human nature in its entirety, by which the 
essential evil of an apostate nature is met and resisted by 
the granted power to exercise a living faith in God and 
goodness, to repent of sin and to yearn after holiness. This 
beginning of the regeneration, of the new creation in Christ 
Jesus, belongs to mankind, the free gift of God to a fallen 
world. Then, also for mankind, there is a continuous 
process by which God in His Providence seeks to nur- 
ture this better life of humanity, to strengthen it for the 
conflict with evil, and to enable it to bring forth the 
fruits of righteousness. 

1 3. Reg en- 3. In this process is included that crisis in 
the conscious the personal history of most men, that turn- 
and IC eejection * n £ P om t °f character and destiny, when good 
of evil. an( j ev ji gtand before us in tangible and con- 

trasted shape and lineament, and the soul, the will, 
consciously chooses and gives its allegiance to one or 
the other. And when, under the light of Christian truth, 
this choice is made, in the only way in which it can so be 
made, by accepting Christ as Redeemer, Master, Lord, and 
God, then this fruitful crisis in the Regeneration is not 
only rightly called Conversion, but it deserves for its emi- 
nence to be termed, and our brethren are right in calling 
it, Regeneration. 


Even this momentous crisis in the normal condition 
of each man has been verified more or less distinctly, in 
personal experience, -in all ages and among all nations. 
The perpetual struggle between the higher aspirations and 
the evil nature of men is a confessed phenomenon in the his- 
tory of mankind always and every where. And whenever 
the opportunity has been presented of looking at the moral 
history of individual men, we find that this very choice of 
good and rejection of evil, this determination to follow the 
higher aspirations and to resist and mortify the evil tenden- 
cies of nature, has been distinctly made in a vast number of 
instances outside the pale of Judaism and of Christianity. 

The admired and beautiful fable, the choice of Hercules, 
in which is set forth this universal conflict between right 
and wrong, between moral good and evil, and the conscious 
choice of the good in opposition to all the allurements 
of vice and to all the strongest propensities of nature, is 
reported to us by a heathen writer long before the birth 
of Christ, and through successive generations its persua- 
sive teachings have helped to influence for good Christian 
children and Christian men. Of the oldest of the great 
dramatists of Greece — iEschylus — Bishop Meade, of Vir- 
ginia, has written: 

"He is pre-eminently the theological poet of Greece 
The great problems which lie at the foundation of faith 
and practice — the same problems which are discussed by 
Job and his three friends — are the main staples of nearly 
all his tragedies. ... It must be confessed that his 
theology is surprisingly healthy, sound, and truthful in 
its essential elements. The great doctrines of hereditary 
depravity, retribution, and atonement are there in their 
elements, as p as in the sacred Scriptures. Would 
that modern poets were equally true to the soul of man, 


the law of God, and the Gospel of Christ." (Bible and 
Classics, pp. 417, 422.) 

The same distinguished prelate quotes from a younger 
dramatist very much to the same effect. Sophocles, in 
relation to the eternal rule of right, says: 

" These are no laws of yesterday ; they live 
For evermore, and none can trace their birth. 

True piety alone defies the grave ; 

Let mortals live or die, this blooms forever. 

Conscious of right, 

The soul may proudly soar." 

The Bishop (p. 425) sums up a long and interesting dis- 
sertation with this conclusion : 

"We may thus see how God could save those heathen, 
by means of the remaining light handed down by tradition, 
which becomes a law written in the hearts of men by the 
Spirit of God. . . . Through the mercy of God and 
by the power of His Spirit they were made humble and 
devout, by the instrumentality of that truth which they 
held." (Ibid., p. 499.) 

These citations are taken from the instructive work 
of Bishop Meade, because in the use which he has made 
of them the position I am maintaining is strongly sup- 
ported by his high and persuasive authority. 

There must have been such a crisis as that described in 
Xenophon in the life of those great and good men whose 
history adorns the annals of all nations, and who, by un- 
faltering adherence to right, by uncompromising resistance 
to evil, by noble self-sacrifice for the good of others, filled 
up the measure of a godly life, furnished us in the Scrip- 
tures, more perfectly, in many instances, than the average 
attainment of Christian men. Surely of these illustrious 
witnesses of the sanctifying power of the Spirit we may say 


that their part in the Regeneration, in its second and higher 
meaning, has been unmistakably proved, according to the 
very letter of Holy Writ. "For if ye live after the flesh, 
ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the 
deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led 
by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Rom. 
viii, 13-14.) 

4. But, as we have already seen, there is 

1 4. KEGENERA- . . J . ' . 

tionasthead- another marked ana decisive period in the 

MISSION OF THE . „. . . 

child of God .Regeneration, under the Christian iorm of 
dom of god by the Covenant, when the heir of salvation 
is solemnly admitted into that kingdom of 
heaven which God has established on the earth for 
the refuge and home of His redeemed. The absolute 
necessity for the continued existence of this kingdom, to 
preserve the truth, as well as to nurture the religious life, 
we have before considered. Not only to preserve the truth, 
but to manifest it to the world, and to prove it, and to show 
its continuous transmission from age to age, is this kingdom 
essential. Take away this testimony, and the Bible, even 
if it had in its integrity been preserved in the world through 
all the convulsions of society, would have been subject, like 
any mere waif of literature, to such a sneer as this from 
one of the bitterest enemies of Christianity. The writer 
to whom I refer, speaking of himself, says : 

"His refusal of the creative hypothesis is less an assertion 
of knowledge than a protest against the assumption of knowl- 
edge, which must long, if not forever, lie beyond us, and 
the claim to which is the source of manifold confusion upon 
earth. With a mind open to conviction, he asks his oppo- 
nents to show him an authority for the belief they so 
fiercely uphold. They can do no more than point to the 
Book of Genesis or some other portion of the Bible. Pro- 


foundly interesting and indeed pathetic to me are those 
attempts of the opening mind of man to appease its hunger 
for a cause." (Tyndall, Belfast Address, p. 14, Preface.) 

The writer of this sentence forgets that the Book thus 
mockingly described as mere human guess-work has been 
handed down through all the ages as the authentic record 
of a Divine Society, an established social organism, coeval 
with mankind, claiming and exercising authority over the 
moral and spiritual nature of men. This spiritual kingdom 
of God upon earth, older than all civil Polities, authenti- 
cates this Book as a revelation from God, given to this 
spiritual kingdom from time to time, and witnessed "by 
many infallible proofs," by miracles and prophecies, and 
by the accordant testimony which its truths find in the 
hearts and consciences of men. The certain existence and 
the known history of this kingdom, and the moral sphere 
in which it rules, are Facts, outside, indeed, of physical 
phenomena, but .none the less facts, to be considered and 
treated of as a substantive part of human knowledge and 
experience. These facts are not within the range of the 
physical sciences, but they are prominent and incontestable 
phenomena of historical and moral science. And it is the 
transparent fallacy of this school that it mistakes physical 
science for the sum of all knowledge. These facts of his- 
torical and moral science can no more be put away and 
destroyed by a sneer or a conjecture than any facts of nat- 
ural history or of chemistry can be so disposed of. 

The kingdom of God, thus appointed to rule and to bear 
witness in the sphere of morals and religion, has also been 
endowed by its King with spiritual graces, for the nurture 
and development of the spiritual and moral nature of man. 
Therefore the solemn admission into this kingdom, with the 
chartered grant of all its privileges, immunities, and graces, 


is fitly called regeneration, as being a fruitful and eminent 
incident in that transcendent operation of the Holy Ghost 
by which depraved and sinful men are made sharers with 
Christ of a Divine nature, and joint heirs with Christ of a 
heavenly inheritance. The great Head of the Church em- 
phatically termed this controlling and fruitful incident in 
the spiritual life of each one of his disciples a New Birth ; 
and the Church has but echoed His words in her Bap- 
tismal Office, from the beginning. 

, „ „ 5. But the Regeneration is not exhausted 

g5. Regenee- ° 

ationasthe r completed by this act, efficacious though. 

FINAL PUKIFi- . , T . . . 

cation of the it be. It is to goon, in a continuing; pro- 

REDEEMED. ° ° x 

gress, from grace to grace, from strength to • 
strength, in the transformation of a degenerate and sinful 
nature into the Christ-likeness, into the completed pattern 
of the Perfect Man. The Regeneration, in its highest and 
fullest sense, can only be at the great consummation, at 
the end of this economy, when the number of the elect is 
made up, when there shall be a new heavens and a new 
earth, and when the Son of Man shall sit down in the 
throne of His glory. Then, in the perfected Regeneration, 
all who have followed Him on earth in self-denial and in 
doing good shall be admitted to share with Him in the 
glories and joys of His everlasting kingdom. 

6. The spirit of partisanship has especially 
ctjlt 6 ies DIFFI " ra g e d around that incident of the Regenera- 
tion which the Church, using the language 
of her Lord, emphatically calls the New Birth — the ad- 
mission of the child of God into the kingdom of God by 
Baptism. This controversy is maintained in perpetual 
activity, by the exaggeration of the effect of Baptism on 
one side, provoking a corresponding depreciation of the 
effect of Baptism by the other side. And both parties ap- 


peal to the Catechism, as containing the indubitable proof 
of their respective assertions. It would seem that this very- 
fact ought to make both parties a little less positive and a 
little more modest in claiming for their antagonist positions 
the unquestionable authority of this venerable formulary. 
Instead of this reasonable hesitation and diffidence, the 
two parties become more clamorous when it is proposed 
to reconcile the passages to which they respectively appeal, 
by pointing out a meaning which satisfies and embraces 
both. Neither party seems willing to part with a long- 
cherished, tenderly nursed, and constantly recurring source 
of difference and contention. It is a pretty quarrel as it 
stands, and they will tolerate no interference to appease it. 
The favorite sentence of those who claim for Baptism 
the first bestowal of spiritual life is the answer of the child, 
" Baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child 
of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." That 
these words can not be taken in the sweeping and exclusive 
sense claimed for them by these persons might easily be 
shown by the necessary principle of interpretation, that all 
language must be understood in relation to the facts and 
circumstances of which it treats. The known fact that 
spiritual life — the Christ -life — has been possessed and 
manifested by innumerable persons unbaptized precludes 
this exclusive sense, and compels some qualification of the 
terms employed. But there is an answer even closer 
and, if possible, clearer than this. The Baptismal Service, 
which is made by the reference a part of this very formu- 
lary, demands from the person to be baptized, as a condition 
precedent, a profession of the most eminent graces of the 
Spiritual or Christ-life — Faith, Repentance, Obedience. 
The exclusive interpretation is, therefore, absolutely and 
peremptorily negatived by the document itself. With what 


qualification the terms in question are to be understood 
must be determined, perhaps only approximately, by the 
facts and circumstances of the case. This qualification has 
been suggested, and seems to me safe and sufficient. Bap- 
tism, as a Sacrament, the outward and visible sign of an 
inward spiritual grace, takes its subject out of the region 
of hypothesis and speculation in regard to his relations to 
God, and places him visibly and formally within the terms 
of the covenant of grace as a member of Christ, etc. This 
high transaction is made more solemn and determinate by 
the sanction of a mutual oath between the parties — God 
on the one side, man on the other. This qualification 
of the answer would be expressed by the addition of a 
single word, "wherein I was visibly made a member of 
Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom 
of heaven." 

The more literal interpretation of the language in ques- 
tion, heretofore given, regards it as simply the affirmation 
that to be made a member of the Church by Baptism is to 
be made a member of Christ, because the Church is "the 
body of Christ." 

Those on the other extreme, who deny that the Baptism 
of an infant is or can be the New Birth in any sense, cite 
as conclusive proof of their position the definition given in 
the Catechism of the "inward and spiritual grace" of 
Baptism, viz., "A death unto sin and a new birth unto 
righteousness." It is impossible and absurd, it is said, for 
this high spiritual attainment to be affirmed of an uncon- 
scious infant. 

This objection brings us into the heart of the most 
solemn Christian verities. Can these words, in their full 
and unqualified sense, be properly affirmed in any case 
of the Baptism of an adult person? Is any man, the 


newly baptized or the mature Christian, actually dead unto 
sin? Is sin no longer present with him, to taint his soul or 
body, his thoughts, words, or actions? The consciousness 
of every Christian gives the answer of St. John to this 
question, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our- 
selves, and the truth is not in us." (1 St. John i, 8.) 

The definition in the Catechism uses the words of St. 
Paul, and means what he meant when he described the 
state and condition of a Christian, "Know ye not that so 
many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were bap- 
tized into his death? That like as Christ was raised up 
from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also 
should walk in newness of life." "Reckon ye also your- 
selves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God 
through Jesus Christ our Lord." Then follows that fervid 
exhortation to make the sacramental death unto sin and 
life unto righteousness an ever-growing reality, by the 
continued mortification of sin, by continued and faithful 
obedience to the Spirit. "Therefore," he concludes, "we 
are debtors not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For 
if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through 
the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." 
(Rom. vi, 3-4, 11; viii, 12-13.) 

The whole passage is a description of the meaning and 
purpose of the Christian profession, and a vindication of 
the grace of God given to us to make that profession good. 

The Baptismal Office faithfully embodies this elaborate 
and inspired description of the meaning of Baptism. It 
is, on our part, the solemn and sworn renunciation of sin, 
the solemn and sworn vow of allegiance to God, and 
of submission to be led by His Spirit. It is, on the part 
of Almighty God, the sworn promise that His grace shall 
be sufficient for us, to enable us, as long as we try to be 


faithful, to make that renunciation and that vow of obedi- 
ence effectual. And this view of the Sacrament is clearly 
and precisely expressed in the concluding exhortation of the 
office: "Remembering always that Baptism representetli 
unto us our profession; which is to follow the example 
of our Saviour, Christ, and to be made like unto Him; 
that as He died and rose again for us, so should we, who 
are baptized, die from sin, and rise again unto righteous- 
ness ; continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt 
affections, and daily proceeding in all virtue and god- 
liness of living." 

The two vows of renunciation and obedience in the Office 
explain unmistakably the "death unto sin and new birth 
unto righteousness," in the contemplation of this Sacra- 
ment, to be the rejection of one allegiance and the choice 
of another. 

All is in the future, except the profession — the vow — 
on the one side and the grace given on the other. These 
constitute the sacramental death unto sin and life unto 
righteousness. The actual death unto sin and life unto 
righteousness are to be accomplished in futuro and con- 
tinuously, as the consequence, the design, and the meaning 
of the Sacrament. 

And here let us gratefully observe that this plain mean- 
ing of the Baptismal Office, provided for our use by the 
Holy Church, is the faithful echo and rehearsal of the 
meaning which Holy Scripture has unalterably fixed to 
the very same language. For in the passage of the Epistle 
to the Bomans, from which the Church has reverently se- 
lected her own phraseology, St. Paul is careful to explain 
in less figurative speech the precise meaning of the language 
now so painfully contested. In the very process of his ar- 
gument, as a reiteration of his previous statement concerning 


death and life, he says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye 
yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to 
whom ye obey ; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience 
unto righteousness?" (Rom. vi, 10.) 

Is not this Sacramental effect just as true and real in 
the baptism of an infant as in the baptism of an adult? 
The renunciation and the vow are the same; the grace 
given is the same; the actual admission into the earthly 
kingdom of God, with its endowment of all the means 
of grace, is the same. Only the modus operandi of the 
training is different. The child is "under tutors and gov- 
ernors," and the grace of God must give effect to their 
discipline and instruction. The adult is under the govern- 
ment of his own will and intelligence, and the grace of 
God must co-operate continually and mightily with all the 
instruments of his discipline, or the Sacrament will be 
frustrate and of none effect. 

g 7. language 7. Even if all this should be allowed, yet 
such precision it is earnestly insisted that the Baptismal 
differences of Office should be so changed as to preclude 
TIO n. all doubt or possibility of difference in its, 

interpretation, to take away occasion for these elaborate 
explanations of its meaning. 

There are three sufficient answers to this demand. 

1. The thing required is simply impossible. Human 
language is incapable of the precision which excludes 
doubt, or a different understanding of it' by different 
minds. Even if language were perfect, the demand would 
require that all human minds should be alike in natural 
capacity and in acquired culture, so that all should receive 
from that language precisely the same impression. Both 
the terms of this hypothesis are notoriously untrue. A 
high legal authority has said that it took two hundred , 


years of judicial interpretation and many millions of 
pounds sterling to ascertain the meaning of the English 
Statute of Frauds. Compose a new Baptismal Office, and 
floubts about its construction will arise at once. And in 
another generation, with changing currents of thought 
and with changing circumstances, the doubts and diffi- 
culties will be indefinitely increased. Now we have an 
Office, to the meaning of which we are at least assisted by 
common usage, and by the concurrent or conflicting estima- 
tion of the best minds of three centuries. 

Those two conflicting forms of thought, which have 
prevailed, not only in the Church, but in the world, from 
the beginning of society, will inevitably differ and dispute 
over any religious formula that can be expressed in words. 
They separate into parties, and dispute over every form 
of civil constitution and of government. 

The possible constructions of the venerable Office which 
is now the heritage of the Church have been ascertained 
by three centuries of use and exposition. And every one 
can know with certainty that it bears one or the other of 
these interpretations, between which he can freely choose 
according to the bent of his own mind. But a new Office, 
or the old one essentially changed, launches us upon a sea 
of uncertainties. 

2. Besides this sufficient reason for retaining the old, it 
must be remembered that, as we have seen, the present 
Office embodies the language and thought of inspiration. 
And precisely the same questions circle around the Baptismal 
Office as around the words of Holy Scripture. For the 
Church then to embody in this Catholic formula one of 
these interpretations, to the exclusion of the other, would 
be to affect a wisdom higher than the wisdom of God, and 
possibly to be guilty of a corruption of His word. 


3. Again, I think it will be conceded by most Church- 
men that this Office was composed by men of deeper 
insight into spiritual things, and of a clearer perception 
of the analogy of faith, than the men of this generation.' 
The stirring events of the time, the intense concentration 
of intellectual and spiritual force upon abstract truth then, 
in contradistinction to the diffusion of that force now over 
a new world of physical research, produced very naturally 
that deeper insight and clearer perception. May we not 
hope that a generation may yet arise capable of entering 
fully into their spirit and into their labors? In the mean 
time, let not the Church throw away the precious heritage 
they bequeathed to us, and take in its place the fancies 
and superficialities of an age which recognizes John Stuart 
Mill and Huxley and Tyndall and Herbert Spencer as 
its prophets and guides. 




1. It is delightful to see how a great truth when fully 

conceived throws its cheering light not only through large 

9 . _, spaces, but into corners and caverns where 

g 1. I KUTH -T ' 

embodied in ma- h ar d questions and painful difficulties have 


and actions. intrenched themselves in gloom and dark- 
ness. The Incarnation — the quickening of humanity 
through the human nature of Christ — is the one tran- 
scendent mystery of the Gospel, which but reappears 
in varied forms in all other mysteries in the Divine 
Word and in the Sacraments. Against this fundamental 
fact of Christianity the hearts of men have stumbled in 
all ages, wherever and however it is exhibited. 

To help us to apprehend this profound mystery — not to 
enable us to comprehend it, for then it would cease to be a 
mystery, and would be less than the least of God's mani- 
fold works of wisdom and power, but to help us to appre- 
hend and believe this mystery of our salvation — the 
Scriptures have exhausted the powers of human speech 
in presenting the same truth in varied forms and by the 
most striking similitudes. 

To this effect is the sixth chapter of St. John, in which 
by the similitude of Himself as bread from heaven, upon 
which men feed, and it becomes the nourishment, the 
strength, and the very substance of their bodies; by the 
similitude of His flesh and blood to be eaten and drunk, 
our Saviour announces the intimacy and reality of the 


union between Himself and His redeemed; and that the 
spiritual life of humanity is derived solely from this union ; 
and that salvation and eternal life depend entirely upon 
the continuation and consummation of this union. Pre- 
cisely the same cardinal truths of the Christian religion 
are presented to us in other forms. Christ says, "I am 
the door; by Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved." 
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." St. Paul 
says, "We are members of His body, of His flesh, and 
of His bones." (Eph. v, 30.) 

The Sacrament of Regeneration, the New Birth of water 
and of the Holy Ghost, represents and effectually seals the 
same glorious mystery in one divinely-ordained form, in 
which God and man meet together as co-actors in a solemn 
covenant of adoption and grace on the one hand, and of 
faith and fealty on the other. 

The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ is the 
divinely-ordered expression and the effectual seal of the 
same adorable mystery, in which God and man again meet 
together; man as the faithful and penitent recipient, God 
as the Almighty Giver of the life of His Son ; thus con- 
tinuing, strengthening, and perfecting that union between 
Christ and the believer which is the only life of human- 
ity — the only hope of salvation. 

To conceive rightly of the Sacraments of Christ's re- 
ligion is to conceive rightly of that religion. For all its 
holiest truths are embodied in those Sacraments, made 
concrete in material forms and actions. And one of the 
purposes for which those sublime truths are so embodied 
is that we may the more readily apprehend them. The 
plainest and simplest way, therefore, of teaching Christian 
truth is to employ and interpret these divinely-appointed 
forms of that truth. And the favorite and most suc- 
cessful method by which the truth in every age has been 


assailed and corrupted has been by a subtle and tortuous 
misinterpretation of these holy mysteries. We have seen 
how the Sacrament of Regeneration has been abused, and 
made the battle-ground for perpetual conflict between op- 
posing errors. In like manner the Holy Sacrament of 
Love has been turned into the unhappy occasion of fratri- 
cidal strife by the perverse ingenuity of erring men. 
ao m 2. The blessed Sacrament of the Body 

g 2. Tkansub- J 

stantiation. anc i Blood of Christ has been perverted by 
superstitious folly into a monstrous fable, insulting alike 
to God and man, by which Religion has been degraded 
almost to the level of Fetich worship, and Christianity 
placed in direct antagonism with those very faculties of 
men by which alone its own truth can be perceived and 
recognized. The varied and beautiful imagery of our 
Lord in His discourses, together with His own blessed 
Sacrament, expressing a sublime and glorious mystery, 
are thus changed into a revolting figment which overturns 
the nature of a Sacrament and frustrates the whole mean- 
ing, purpose, and teaching of the Divine instruction and 
of the Divine institution. 

The gross and carnal fable of transubstantiation invents 
a miracle as useless as it is profane in place of the Divine 
miracle of grace intended by the Sacrament. For, observe, 
the natural effect of bread and wine is only to nourish our 
bodies ; but consecrated by the Holy Ghost their ordered 
Sacramental effect is twofold ; first, to be the effectual seal 
of our personal union with Christ; and secondly, to be the 
channel to convey to us Christ Himself, to be the spiritual 
nourishment of soul and body. 

For this mighty miracle of grace superstition substitutes 
her poor pretended miracle, and affirms that the bread and 
wine have been changed into the natural Flesh and Blood 
of Christ. But the natural effect of flesh and blood is 


only to nourish our bodies as bread and wine do ; so that 
after all this sacrifice of sense, reason, Scripture, and the 
common meaning of language, this gratuitous miracle, has 
not advanced us one single step beyond the simple use as 
food of unconsecrated bread and wine. For the Divine 
institution, under this representation of it, consisting simply 
in the supposed conversion of bread and wine into flesh 
and blood, and our feeding upon them, there is no place 
in this pretended mystery for the Sacramental union with 
Christ, which the real mystery was intended to symbolize, 
continue, and strengthen. Even with the aid of the hypo- 
statical union, with all its possible and, in this connection, 
revolting consequences, you get not beyond this, except by 
abandoning "the letter," which truly in this case "killeth" 
the most profound and glorious mystery of our Religion. 

It is painful to have to write or to think of these conse- 
quences; but it is an unhappy necessity to answer men 
according to their folly. Allow to these men the pre- 
tended literal meaning of the words of institution, supple- 
mented by all the effect claimed for the hypostatical union 
in this transaction, and the result is merely that the com- 
municant has received, as food for his body, the dead or 
living Christ, the flesh, blood, soul, and Divinity of the 
crucified and risen Saviour. But where is the place in 
this process for "the strengthening and refreshing of our 
souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, as our bodies are 
by the Bread and Wine," as the true Sacrament provides ? 
All the power and glory of the Divine institution are ex- 
pended and lost, under this theory, in providing a little 
nourishment for the body, and in the mere subjective excite- 
ment which the thought of such a repast may occasion. The 
real spiritual benefit is thus reduced to the very lowest 
point of the Zuinglian fancy. 

To attain the true purpose and meaning of the Sacra- 


raent, to make it the communication of Christ to us, to 
dwell in and consecrate our whole nature, the Romanist is 
compelled to rely upon a truer and higher meaning of the 
blessed words of institution than that poor pretended 
literal meaning out of which his monstrous fable has 
been constructed. He must add to this letter that killeth 
a belief in the power of the Holy Ghost consecrating the 
supposed flesh and blood to their instituted purpose and 
effect, to nourish both soul and body, to be the commu- 
nication of very Christ to us. This supernatural and 
glorious effect, the real meaning of the institution, is 
altogether beyond and aside from the mere reception as 
food of the Flesh and Blood and the whole person of 
Christ. And in the real Sacrament ordained by our Lord, 
according to the plain and obvious meaning of the words 
of institution, Bread and Wine are consecrated to this 
very supernatural and glorious effect. So that this weary 
circle of folly and stultification leads to no end, accom- 
plishes no purpose, except to degrade religion, and to be 
used as an instrument for the degradation of the human 

We have spoken of transubstantiation as founded upon 
the alleged literal meaning of the words of institution; 
but it really seems to be an abuse of language to call that 
a literal meaning of the words which does not express 
their plain and obvious meaning, according to the ordinary 
forms of speech. 

The necessary construction of human language conveys 
spiritual and abstract truths by words derived from mate- 
rial and sensible images. The mystery of the Eucharist is 
in the real meaning of the words of institution. The 
so-called " literal" acceptation of those words does not 
properly involve a mystery, but is simply a violation of 
the elementary principles of language, an insult to the 


Divine Speaker. For Christ used human language in its 
ordinary forms, addressing it to human intelligence. The 
words were used to convey a certain meaning in accord- 
ance with the most common form of human speech. Men 
say they will humbly take these words in what they call 
their literal meaning, whatever contradiction it may give 
to sense and reason. But in doing this they take the 
words senselessly and leave out the meaning. 

The words correspond in character with many like ex- 
pressions of the same Divine Teacher, and all of them are 
as plain as ordinary language can be. ' ' I am the door ; " 
"I am the vine; " "I am that bread that came down from 
heaven," referring to the manna in the wilderness. Must 
we "humbly," as these persons say, take these words in 
what they call their literal meaning? Must we make our 
Lord to be a piece of deal-board manufactured into a door ? 
Must we think of Him and ' ' adore " Him as a grape-vine 
planted in the earth ? The pretended literal meaning of 
all these expressions is no mystery, but simply senseless 
and contradictory. The unfathomable mystery is in the 
plainly -intended meaning, according to the ordinary usage 
of human speech, not in the literal meaning of the words. 

The mystery is the union of Christ with us — begun by 
the Incarnation, continued and perfected in each child, of 
God by this and other means of grace and spiritual growth. 
The mystery is Christ giving Himself to us when He gives 
us bread and wine, consecrated to represent that body and 
blood which with our whole nature He assumed for our 
sakes. The mystery is Bread and Wine consecrated to be 
the effectual seal, the instrument, therefore, by which He con- 
veys Himself to us. The symbolism in that Divine mys- 
tery is that Christ is as truly united then to our souls and 
bodies as the consecrated elements are to those bodies. It 
is amazing that sensible men will obscure this great truth 


by a perverse taking of our Lord's plain and simple words. 
The Jews, who were offended by the great mystery first 
disclosed to them by our Lord in the conversation related 
in the sixth chapter of St, John, took not his words in the 
gross and carnal sense now contended for by some. The 
communication of the life of Christ to men, thereby unit- 
ing them to God, was the profound and puzzling truth 
which they gathered from those words, and which inflamed 
their hearts with madness. This is the fundamental fact 
of Christianity, the one pervading mystery which is con- 
tinually reproduced in various forms all through the insti- 
tutions and mysteries of redemption. 

3. Transubstantiation and Zuinglianism 

§3. Theory of . 

Identity, or dn- are by our formularies alike denied and 

iox of Christ n i • i -t i iii t • i n i 

with the Ele- forbidden to be held, it is to be feared 

MENTS. . ,. , . . ,. 

that some radical extremists in one direc- 
tion in our Church do hold this last-named form of error 
concerning the Holy Eucharist, making of it a bare re- 
membrance. Lately there has arisen in the Church of 
England, as an extreme and passionate reaction from the 
deadening Erastianism of the last century, an active and 
zealous party w T hich, with some admirable traits, is unhap- 
pily distinguished by its denunciation of the English Ref- 
ormation, and by its painful effort to assimilate as near as 
possible to Rome without incurring the legal penalty of 
ejection from the English Church. 

It is almost a matter of course that this party should 
have its admirers and imitators in America, although the 
external reasons for the existence of such a party do not 
exist here as in England. It was a fatal mistake of some 
of the younger clergy and divinity students of the last 
generation to have thrown themselves warmly into the 
current of the earlier "Oxford movement," with its turbid 
stream of mingled truth and error ; unmindful of the fact 


that all the truth of that movement had long before become 
"familiar science" to American Churchmen. The changed 
constitution of the civil legislature and the dawning sus- 
picion of possible disestablishment, which helped to start 
the movement in England, had long been accomplished 
facts in this country, and had forced our people to study 
and comprehend the Divine Constitution of the Church as 
the necessary warrant for their organization, doctrine, and 
worship. And so the teachings of Seabury and White 
and Hobart and Ravenscroft, of Bowden, Chapman, and 
Cooke, had settled for us, on immovable foundations of 
reason and evidence, the truths which these Oxford pro- 
fessors were painfully feeling after. 

It was during this earlier movement that the doctrine 
of the Eucharist was depraved for a section of English 
and American Churchmen by a new theory put forth as 
a milder substitute for Transubstantiation. The writer 
who first formally stated and with laborious ingenuity ex- 
pounded this theory was Robert Isaac Wilberforce, then 
"Arch -deacon of the East Riding." This task he ac- 
complished by the publication of quite a large volume a 
year or two before his avowed secession to the Church of 
Rome. The book abounds with sophistries and misrepre- 
sentations; but it exercised a large and pernicious influ- 
ence in both countries, because it was received as a genuine 
utterance of English Churchmanship. 

The theory of Wilberforce is that although the Elements 
remain bread and wine, retaining their natural substance, 
yet after consecration, "by a law of identity without 
parallel," the flesh and the blood, and consequently the 
whole Person of Christ, are inseparably united to the 
Elements, and being in the Elements and upon the Altar, 
should be adored there. "Hence it comes to pass," he 
says, " that this Sacrament consists of two things, a Subject 


and a Predicate, which are united into one by a law of 
identity which is without parallel." (Page 133.) "When 
it is said then that the relation between the Subject and 
the Predicate in our Lord's words of institution is that of 
sacramental identity, it is meant that the outward and 
inward parts, the sacramentum and res sacramenti, are 
united by the act of consecration into a compound whole. 
Such was the efficacy of our Lord's original benediction; 
such continues to be the force of the same words when 
pronounced by Him through the mouth of His Ministers. 
For they are creative words, like those which called the 
world into existence." "The outward and the inward, 
retaining each their own character, are united into a 
heterogeneous whole." (Page 135-6.) "Christ's Body, 
therefore, may be said to have a form in this Sacrament, 
namely, the form of the Elements, and to occupy that 
place through which the elements extend." (Page 176.) 

In more than one place he tells us that the supposed 
contradiction between the Church of England and the 
Church of Rome on this subject is "verbal rather than 
real, in language and not in thought." (Page 143.) 

This mischievous theory, remitting us to the worst cor- 
ruptions of mediae valism, and engrafting upon Christianity 
the very principle of all heathen idolatry by identify- 
ing the Deity with the Symbols of His Presence, has re- 
cently received a very extraordinary indorsement in the 
judicial opinion of Sir Robert Phillimore, Dean of the 
Court of Arches, in the case of Shepherd v. Bennett. 
And the "adjudicated words" of the defendant, Bennett, 
are now adopted as the shibboleth of the new party. 
They are as follows : 

"I believe in the real, actual Presence of our Lord 
under the form of bread and wine upon the altars of our 
churches," and "I myself adore and teach my people to 


adore Christ present in the Elements under the form of 
bread and wine, believing that under this veil is the sacred 
Body and Blood of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 
It is true that the Supreme Court of Appeal indignantly 
denies the assertion of the Judge of the court below that 
these words express the doctrine of the Church of England 
or of her great divines; nevertheless it affirms that judg- 
ment, refusing to condemn the defendant for the use of 
these words. 

The issue is now therefore fairly joined between the old 
Christian doctrine of the Eucharist and this ' ' new-fangled 
conceit," as St. Bernard called one of the later articles of 
the Romish Creed — the immaculate conception of the Vir- 
gin Mary. And this issue must be tried in both countries 
upon the broad ground of reason and Scripture. I have 
no fears of the result. Because with the warning example 
of Borne before us in the same progress of superstition, 
and with the absorbent power of that communion to take 
up intractable impurities from any source, our Church 
will continue to give, in the future as in the past, a clear 
and certain testimony to all the great verities of Christian 

4. With a strange forgetfulness of the terms of their 

new dogma, its advocates take up the stere- 

Appeal of this otyped claim of Rome in regard to Tran- 

"P A Ft T Y TO tup 

Letter of ix- substantiation, and affirm that the "letter" 
of the words of institution is ' ' the sure war- 
rant " for their theory. We have already seen as to the 
Romish figment, and the same is just as true of all its 
cognate theories of identity, impanation, consubstantiation, 
and sacramental union in the sense that Christ is in the 
Elements, that it is a violent departure from the literal or 
any other sensible meaning of the words, according to the 
established and familiar usage of human speech. But if you 


once allow such a force to be put. upon langnage and com- 
mon reason as to admit the absurdity of Transubstantia- 
tion, then there is a sort of logical adherence to the letter 
in that conceit. For if the Elements are no longer Bread 
and Wine, they may be, according to the letter, the Body 
and Blood of Christ, and consequently the whole Person 
of Christ. But this new device is, in any possible aspect 
of it, an entire departure from the alleged letter. Take 
any of the terms in which the new dogma is expressed, 
and they are all alike a departure from the letter. For if 
the elements remain bread and wine, then it is a departure 
from the literal meaning to say that they are likeivise the 
Body and Blood. It is an unauthorized addition to say 
that they contain the Body and Blood, or that the Body 
and Blood are united with them. Certainly our Lord says 
nothing of this sort. As the martyr Ridley has pointed 
out, our Lord does not mention two substances, but one 
only. He does not say this Bread and My Body, but 
"This is My Body." This necessary departure of all the 
later theories from the mere letter throws us back either 
upon the mediaeval fable of Transubstantiation, or upon the 
legitimate and recognized sense of the words — the proper 
literal meaning according to the usus hquendi of all human 
speech. This bread represents My Body; is now by My 
Divine word constituted the efficacious symbol of My 
Body; so that he that receiveth rightly this Bread re- 
ceiveth Me. 

Dr. Pusey and a part of his followers are quite em- 
phatic in expressing their rejection of Transubstantiation. 
The distinct language of our formularies requires this 
rejection. But the special theory of Transubstantiation 
is only a surviving specimen of scholastic nonsense. The 
theological vice of this famous relic, as of its kindred 
errors, is that it confuses the Deity with the symbols of 


His presence — with the instruments of His power — and 
localizes Him in or under material forms; and when the 
Deity, so localized, is worshiped by outward acts of adora- 
tion, those bodily acts, by the necessity of our condition, 
are directed to the material forms. In the instance of a few 
gifted persons, the mind may pass beyond the visible sym- 
bol to the invisible God, but the prostrations and other 
bodily acts are made to the symbol as representing the 
Present Deity. And this is precisely the description of 
that vast system of heathen idolatry which had overspread 
the earth. The heathen worshiped the Deity in the sym- 
bol — the sun, the moon, the stars, or the graven image; 
and the higher minds among them, as among the Roman 
Catholics, made that purely intellectual distinction between 
the worship of the Deity in the symbol and the worship 
of the symbol, which Mr. Bennett did not make except 
upon constraint. Alas ! for the multitudes who are inca- 
pable of this distinction ! 

I am persuaded that many of the objectionable forms 
of expression now applied to this Divine mystery are a 
mere juggle of words, growing out of the confusion and 
obscurity incident to a thousand years of verbal contro- 
versy. The mystification began by the departure, in an 
age of ignorant conceit, from the proper and accustomed 
meaning of words used according to the ordinary forms 
of speech, and putting upon these words, under the plea of 
adhering to the letter, an arbitrary, forced, and impossible 
meaning. This departure once made, and the changes 
upon these abused words continually rung by innumerable 
disputants, produced a mistiness and indistinctness of con- 
ception which affords no basis for mutual understanding or 
for settlement, but gives the unhappy occasion for inter- 
minable disputation without the possibility of getting 
nearer to the truth by an intelligible issue. 


5. The words of institution and all the words of our 
, e _ „ blessed Lord in regard to this Holy Sacra- 

§ 5. The Real & J 

Presence as m ent, accord with the most common facts 


Church. f human intercourse and with the best es- 

tablished usage of human speech. 

One of the most familiar forms of speech is to give to a 
constituted symbol of a thing the name of the thing, or as 
St. Augustine expressed it, "He calls the Sacrament of 
so great a thing by the name of the thing itself. " One of 
the most common facts of social life in all ages is the 
transfer of property, of any kind or value, by the delivery 
of an agreed symbol of that property. Nine tenths of the 
business transactions of the world have always been effect- 
ed by the operation of these two principles. A warehouse 
certificate will pass the possession and property of a rich 
cargo to an indefinite succession of purchasers. All trans- 
fers of lands and houses are made by the delivery of a 
piece of paper duly written, signed, and sealed. In either 
case the certificate and the deed must be executed accord- 
ing to the precise terms of law, or they are nullities. It is 
in accordance with this universal principle that both the 
Christian Sacraments have been made effectual by the 
Divine love and power to the accomplishment of their 
intended supernatural purpose. 

This plain conclusion brings into view another source 
of ambiguity and indistinctness on this sacred subject. 

There is all the difference between the Presence of 
Christ in the Sacrament and the Presence of Christ in 
the material elements of the Sacrament as between a blessed 
truth and a pernicious error. A competent knowledge of 
that law which is universal reason, and of which Hooker 
speaks so grandly, will teach us how utterly mistaken are 
those persons who speak of Christ as enthroned on the 
altar, or as the victim on the altar, or as being on the 


altar in any special sense, in or under the species of bread 
and wine. This language and the ideas conveyed by it 
are an entire departure from our Lord's institution, a plain 
misconception of the meaning of the Holy Sacrament. 
The consecration has indeed changed the character of these 
elements from common bread and wine into holy and 
effectual symbols of a transcendent and adorable mystery. 
This consecration makes possible a Real Presence of our 
Lord, to be distinguished as well from that general Presence 
by which the Deity is everywhere as from a so-called Virtual 
Presence by which faith and other Christian graces are in- 
creased. This Presence is so real that when the consecrated 
symbols are received, according to the institution, then Christ 
imparts Himself to the faithful communicant to be the life, 
the strength, the nourishment of the new nature in Christ 
Jesus. This Sacrament, like the other, is a continuing 
part of the one pervading mystery of the Incarnation, by 
which Christ becomes more and more one with us and 
makes us one with Him. And this most true and effect- 
ual Presence is involved in the nature of this Sacrament 
as one whole and entire thing. 

To descend from this height and to represent the Pres- 
ence as in the Elements, or on the Altar, or in the hands, 
is not only a departure from the sublime meaning and 
the very words of the institution, but is a direct con- 
tradiction of the definition of this Sacrament contained in 
our Catechism. According to that definition, the conse- 
crated bread and wine become the "sign of an inward 
and spiritual grace," "the Body and Blood of Christ," 
"given unto us." "The inward and spiritual grace" is 
neither "visible" nor "outward" in the Elements. These 
Elements, the "outward and visible sign," are simply and 
purely, says the definition, the "means whereby we receive" 
the inward and spiritual grace, "and a pledge to assure us 


thereof." To represent "the inward and spiritual grace," 
"the Body and Blood of Christ," to be in the elements, or 
under them, or to have any relation to them, other than 
the instituted one of mediate cause and effect — "a means 
and a pledge" — is a direct contradiction of this definition. 

The mistake is flagrant and fatal which changes the 
place of this adorable mystery from the communication 
of Christ to us by the power of the Holy Ghost through 
this instituted "means" to the poor substitute of veiling 
Christ in or under the Elements, upon the altar, or in the 
hands. By the institution of Christ the Bread and Wine 
are changed indeed, not in "substance" nor in "acci- 
dents," but in character and meaning. There is no mys- 
tery at all in the appointment of these material symbols 
of power and efficacy. This appointment is in plain 
accordance with universal custom and common speech. 
The mystery is in the spiritual grace given to us — the con- 
stituted power and efficacy. This mystery is deep, trans- 
cendent, "the tremendous mystery," the "miracle of 
grace," in the contemplation of which we may all take up 
the heart-cry of the late excellent Hugh Davy Evans 
whenever he approached the altar, "Lord, I believe; 
help thou my unbelief." 

That the mystery is here, in the communication of Christ 
to us, and not where it has been improperly placed, in an 
imagined alteration of the substance of the bread and wine, 
or in a supposed hiding of Christ within or under the ma- 
terial elements, is, by logical necessity, involved in the 
nature of this Sacrament. I suppose that every jurist 
will concur in the correctness of the following proposition. 

A Positive Institution, as contradistinguished from a 

natural thing, can only exist as an entirety. You can not 

change or divide it. It subsists as a whole, or not at all. 

This Sacrament is a Positive Institution. As such it 


must be observed according to its terms, or it is not ob- 
served at all. The changed or mutilated thing is a nullity. 
The Sacrament is not celebrated. Now, the reception of 
the consecrated Bread and Wine by the faithful is an 
integral, essential, and component part of the Sacrament. 
Without this completion the positive institution of our 
Lord has not been complied with, and has no existence. 
All that went before fails of its effect, and is as if it had 
not been done. Christ is truly and ineffably present in the 
Sacrament, but only where the Sacrament is complete, 
where the Sacrament is, when the Elements are received 
according to the institution. Then Christ gives Himself 
to the communicant. To speak of Christ as on the Altar, 
either as King or Victim, is aside from and in derogation 
of His institution. It is a presumptuous departure from 
that institution, an unwarranted change of its terms. The 
Elements are only consecrated to their instituted purpose, 
viz., to represent the Body broken and the Blood shed, 
and to be received and eaten, as the condition on which the 
living Saviour will communicate Himself to His people. 
The immediate purpose of the consecration of the elements 
is that they may be received and eaten. Previous to this 
commanded duty and purpose they may indeed be a 
Eucharistic and Commemorative Sacrifice. But as yet 
there is no Sacrament. The main particular of the divine 
institution is not performed. Christ is not otherwise 
Present up to this point than as He is Present in all 
Divine offices, as the effectual Mediator and Priest. The 
Real Presence of Christ, in its highest sense as the blessing 
of this Sacrament, by the very necessity of the institution, 
can only be in the participation of Christ by the faith- 
ful recipient of the consecrated elements. For then only 
is the Sacrament which Christ ordained complete. Then 
only are the terms of this positive institution complied 


with and its meaning accomplished. Then only is it the 

Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. 

' _ „ 6. Some of the bolder advocates of the 

g 6. Pretend- 
ed authorities new theory of the Eucharist do not hesitate 

for the New •> 

Theory. to denounce the English Reformation and the 

whole body of Anglican divinity which has followed it as 
uncatholic, and only to be mentioned with contempt. An- 
other section of the party, at the head of which we must 
now place the learned Dean of the Court of Arches, 
stoutly maintains that this fantastic notion has been held 
by the early Christian Fathers and by nearly all the great 
Divines of the English Church. 

My treatment of this claim must be summary, but I 
trust it will be sufficient. Many volumes have been writ- 
ten for and against this claim, so far as the early Fathers 
are concerned, in regard to the related theory of Transub- 
stantiation. The same testimonies from antiquity which 
refute the Romish figment are equally strong against the 
more recent position. To these testimonies, as gathered by 
our great Divines, I must in general refer. But all these 
testimonies must be considered in the light of two leading 

As I have said, the words of institution, in the strongest 
possible sense, according to the ordinary usage of human 
language, can only mean that this Bread is the effectual 
Representative of My Body given for you. This Cup 
represents My Blood shed for you. By these representa- 
tives of My Body and Blood I give myself to you, so that 
I may dwell in you, and you in Me. The Representatives 
thus constituted properly receive, in all human speech, the 
name of the things they signify. The Christian Fathers, 
freely and without reserve, adopted this language in this 
sense, and expanded it in varied forms, as the basis of 
their exhortations to reverence and sanctity, and to a just 


conception of the amazing mystery which this language 
involved, never dreaming of the gross departure from the 
plain meaning of this common form of speech which 
mediaeval and modern coDceit has made. Such words of 
the Fathers are now quoted in favor of Transubstantiation 
and of this later and kindred error. But when the Fathers 
themselves incidentally speak of the same thing in other 
language, and so interpret their own meaning, we see that 
they intended no such abuse of human language as is now 
ascribed to them. Any one of the many places in which 
the Fathers thus incidentally explain their own sense would 
be sufficient to vindicate their memory and their intelli- 
gence from the reproach of so taking the words of our Lord 
as to leave out the meaning. Happily these places are 
numerous. The two facts I referred to are conclusive upon 
this point. 

(1) St. Augustine employs the common and well-under- 
stood usus loquendi in regard to the Lord's Supper as the 
most familiar illustration by which to explain a difficulty 
which had been proposed to him growing out of the form 
of administration of Baptism. The question was, how can 
the sponsors truly answer that an infant believes? St. 
Augustine's solution of the difficulty is, that the answer 
may properly be made in conformity with the established 
usage that a representation or Sacrament of a thing receives 
the name of the thing itself. ' ' The Sacrament of faith is 
faith," and so the infant receiving the Sacrament may 
rightly be said to believe. Whatever we may think of 
the justness of the conclusion, the material point in this 
determination is the common and familiar examples which 
Augustine adduces of that form of speech upon which he 
relies. "When Good Friday is nigh we say, To-morrow or 
next day is our Lord's passion ; on the Lord's day we say, 
This day our Lord arose. Why is there nobody so silly as 


to say we lie when we speak so, but for this reason, because 
we give names to those days from the representation they 
make us of those on which the things were indeed done." 
His second example of the same usage of speech is the 
common way of speaking about the Eucharist. "Was 
uot Christ in His own person offered up once for all ? and 
yet in the Sacrament He is offered in the Church not only 
every Easter, but every day; nor does he lie who being 
asked says He is offered. For Sacraments would not be 
Sacraments if they had not a resemblance of those things 
whereof they are the Sacraments; and from this resem- 
blance they commonly have tlie names of the things themselves. 
As therefore the Sacrament of Christ's Body is after a 
certain fashion Christ's Body, ... so the Sacrament of 
faith is faith." St. Augustine adds: "The Apostle on this 
same subject of Baptism says we are buried together with 
Christ by Baptism unto death; he does not say we signify a 
burial, but uses the word itself; we are buried. So that he 
calls the Sacrament of so great a thing by the name of the 
thing itself." (Epist. 23 to Boniface.) If St. Augustine 
deemed that there "is nobody so silly as to say we lie when 
we speak so," what would he have thought of the possi- 
bility of perverting this form of speech into a literal 
affirmation ? 

(2) Another conclusive testimony to the sense in which 
the ancients used and understood this Sacramental lan- 
guage is furnished us by Ratramn in his celebrated treatise. 
He quotes St. Augustine as teaching that the people who 
receive are represented by the Eucharistic elements in the 
same sense in which Christ is represented by them. 
Ratramn adds: "But in this other, which is celebrated in 
a mystery, there- is a figure not only of the proper Body 
of Christ, but also of the people that believe in Christ. 
For it beareth the figure of either Body, that is, of the 


Body of Christ, but also of the people that believe in 
Christ. For it beareth the figure of either Body, that is, 
of the Body of Christ, which suffered and rose again, and 
of the people who in Christ are born again and quickened 
from the dead." (Sec. 95-8.) 

If there were but these two testimonies to the sense in 
which the Fathers used the figurative language of the 
Eucharist, these would be amply sufficient to save them 
from the reproach of believing either that the elements 
were "changed" into His Person, or that he was "identi- 
fied" with the elements in a mystical conjunction. 

This opinion, that the water mingled with wine in the 
Cup represented the people in the same mystical sense in 
ivhich the wine represented Christ, was not the singular 
thought of Augustine, or of Ratramn quoting this Father, 
but was the commonly received exposition from very early 
times. For St. Cyprian, rebuking an ancient folly which 
has been revived in our time, viz. , the offering of water in 
the Eucharistic cup instead of wine, says: "For whereas 
Christ says, I am the true vine, the Blood of Christ is not 
surely water, but wine. Nor can His Blood, whereby we 
have been redeemed and quickened, appear to be in the 
Cup when the Cup is without that wine, whereby the Bbod 

of Christ is set forth For because Christ loves us all 

in that He bore our sins also, we see that in the water the 
people are intended, but that in the wine is shown the 
Blood of Christ. But when in the Cup water is mingled 
with wine His people are united to Christ, and the multi- 
tude of believers are united and conjoined with Him in 
whom they believe." (Epistle 363 to Coecilius.) 

Plainly St. Cyprian and the men of his time have never 
conceived of any difference between the representation of 
Christ and the representation of the people who believe in 
Christ, in this Holy Mystery. 


About the time in which St. Cyprian lived, A. D. 250, 
the work entitled "Constitutions of the Holy Apostles" is 
generally believed to have been published. In this work 
the Eucharist is often mentioned in terms which preclude 
the modern fancies, as for example: "Instead of a bloody 
sacrifice He hath appointed that reasonable and unbloody 
and mystical one of His body and blood, which is per- 
formed to represent by symbols the death of the Lord." 
(Book vi, chap. 23.) " Offer the acceptable Eucharist, the 
rejiresentation of the royal body of Christ." (Book vi, chap. 
30.) "We also, our Father, thank Thee for the precious 
blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for us, and for His 
})recious body, of which we celebrate these representations, as 
He Himself appointed us, to shoiv forth His death." (Book 
vii, chap. 25.) 

The words of our Lord in the sixth chapter of St. John, 
referring to this Sacrament and to our union with Him, 
have been so constantly misrepresented by the depravers 
of the mystery that it will be profitable always to keep in 
mind the sense in which they were understood by the early 
Church. Origen says: "There is also in the New Testa- 
ment a letter which kills him who doth not spiritually 
understand those things which are said; for if we take 
according to the letter that which is said, Except ye eat my 
flesh and drink my blood, this letter kills." (Homilies 
on Leviticus, cap. 10.) 

St. Augustine gives more copiously the same testimony. 
In his treatise De Doctrina Christiana (lib. 3, torn. 3, p. 
53), laying down several rules for the right understanding 
of Scripture, he gives this for one : 

"If the speech be a precept forbidding some heinous 
wickedness or crime, or commanding us to do good, it is 
not figurative; but if it seem to command any heinous 
wickedness or crime, or to forbid that which is profitable 


or beneficial to others, it is figurative. For example: 
JExcept ye eat tJie flesh of the Son of man and drink his bloody 
ye have no life in you. This seems to command a heinous 
wickedness and crime ; therefore it is a figure, commanding 
us to communicate of the passion of our Lord, and with 
delight and advantage, to lay up in our memory that His 
flesh was crucified and wounded for us." 

I do not suppose that St. Augustine in the last words 
of this extract expresses the fullness of his own conception 
of the meaning conveyed by the figurative language of our 
Lord. But this comment by the two most illustrious 
teachers of the Church in different ages upon those preg- 
nant words of our Lord, by which he signified the mystery 
of the Incarnation and the showing forth of that mystery 
in this Sacrament, should drive away forever that wretched 
travesty of these words and of His Holy Sacrament which 
makes the blessed Saviour teach that He puts Himself in 
the place of His appointed Symbols, or that He hides His 
sacred Person under the veil of these Symbols, to be first 
adored and then eaten by His people. The grossness of 
this fable was not too coarsely described by Averroes, an 
Arabian philosopher, as quoted by Archbishop Tillotson : 
"I have traveled over the world and have found divers 
sects, but so sottish a sect or law I never found as is the 
sect of Christians; because with their own teeth they 
devour their God whom they worship." 

Tillotson quotes in the same place a saying of the great 
Roman orator expressing a common rule of language, 
which should confound his Christian countrymen and their 
copyists with shame : "When we call," says he, "the fruits 
of the earth Ceres and wine Bacchus, we use but the 
common language ; but do you think any man so mad as 
to believe that which he eats to be God?" (Tillotson's 
Works, vol. ii, serm. 26.) 


One of the most painful attempts at argument by this 
party is the comparison of the supposed union between 
Christ and the Elements to the hypostatic union between 
the Divine and the Human nature of Christ. Gelasius 
and Theodoret are cited as authorities for this notion. 
Gelasius shall answer for himself. The passage relied 
upon is : " Surely the Sacraments which we receive of the 
body and blood of our Lord are a divine thing, so that by 
them we are made partakers of the Divine nature ; and yet 
it ceaseth not to be the substance or nature of bread and 
wine ; and certainly the image and resemblance of Christ's 
body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mys- 

Gelasius does not compare anything which takes place in 
the Eucharist to the Hypostatic union, but he illustrates 
that union, as against the Eutychians, by the completed 
"action" of the Holy Mystery. For as the consecrated 
bread and wine, he argues, though endowed with the 
mysterious power to make us "partakers of the Divine 
nature," yet retain their own nature ; so the human nature 
of Christ remains in its own integrity, notwithstanding its 
mysterious relation to the Divine nature. Neither the 
Fathers nor our English Divines had conceived of this 
modern substitute for Transubstantiation, and therefore 
their language was not guarded against it. But they all 
alike speak of the Eucharist only in its proper aspect, as 
one entire thing — as the completed action. They know nothing 
of a Divine mystery halved, and the nature and properties 
of either portion made the subject for curious speculation. 
They thought not of bread and wine becoming "partakers 
of the Divine nature," but of themselves, the redeemed, 
by the use of these elements made "partakers of the Divine 
nature." " Divinoz efficimur consortes naturce" are the words 
of Gelasius, and immediately afterward he calls these con- 


secrated elements the "image and representation of the 
body and blood." 

Archbishop Tillotson, who receives honorable mention in 
the Oxford Catena, shall tell us about Theodoret : "The 
second is of the same Theodoret, in his second dialogue 
between a Catholick under the name of Orthodoxies and an 
heretick under the name of Eranistes, who maintaining 
that the humanity of Christ was changed into the sub- 
stance of the Divinity, (which was the heresy of Eutyches,) 
he illustrates the matter by this similitude: 'As (says 
he) the symbols of the Lord's body and blood are one 
thing before the invocation of the priest, but after the 
invocation are changed and become another thing, so the 
body of our Lord after his ascension is changed into the 
Divine substance.' But what says the Catholick Ortho- 
doxus to this? Why he talks just like one of Cardinal 
Perron's hereticks. 'Thou art (says he) caught in thy 
own net, because the mystical symbols after consecration 
do not pass out of their own nature, for they remain in 
their former substance, figure, and appearance, and may 
be seen and handled even as before.'" (Works, vol. ii, pp. 
110-11.) So it seems that the earliest approach to the 
Wilberforce theory was made by the Eutychian heretics in 
their vain struggles to find arguments to support their error. 

On the same page the Archbishop furnishes the testi- 
mony of "Facundus, an African Bishop who lived in the 
sixth century." I copy this passage because, like most of 
the authorities I have cited, it incidentally and therefore 
most assuredly tells us the animus, the mind and meaning 
of the Fathers in all their speeches concerning both the 
holy Sacraments. "Upon occasion," says Tillotson, "of 
justifying an expression of one who had said that Christ 
also received the adoption of sons, he reasons thus : ' Christ 
vouchsafed to receive the Sacrament of adoption both when 


he was circumcised and baptized, and the Sacrament of 
adoption may be called adoption, as the Sacrament of His 
"body and blood which is in the consecrated bread and cup 
is by us called Hv> body and blood; not that the bread 
is properly His body and the cup His blood, but because 
they contain in them the mysteries of His body and 
blood. Hence also our Lord Himself called the blessed 
bread and cup which He gave to His disciples His body 
and blood."' 

Nothing can show the severe strain which can be put 
upon the mind by the exigencies of an argument engaged 
in the support of error more clearly than the use which 
has been made of the grand words of St. Paul: "The cup 
of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the 
blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the 
communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. x, 16.) 

Instead of taking these words, as the Church has always 
done, to be the comforting assurance that this Holy 
Sacrament both testifies the union of Christ with His 
believing people and strengthens and perpetuates that 
union, these mistaken brethren profanely distort them into 
the assertion that there is a sort of hypostatic union be- 
tween Christ and the Elements ; that the bread and wine 
are the communicants, the partakers of Christ! 
_» < 7. But the claim that this strange freak 

§7. M I S R F. P - o 

RKSENTATioN of f superstitious fancy is the doctrine of the 

the English l j 

Divines. English Church, and of the great divines 

of that Church, is one of the most remarkable illusions 
of our time. The Wilberforce already mentioned is- the 
author of this fable, as he is, for the English people, 
of the theory it professes to sustain. The theory indeed is 
as old as the Pseudo-Seventh Council, which established 
this dogma along with the worship of images. But the 
theory was not fashioned into the special shape of Tran- 


substantiation until Paschasius Radbertus accomplished 
that feat in the year 818. 

Now, when we think of the shadowy distinction between 
the two forms of this untruth, and that every vice of the 
one religiously conceived inheres in the other, it is suffi- 
ciently extravagant to imagine that Ridley and his fellow- 
martyrs deliberately perished at the stake in defense of this 
worthless and impalpable distinction ! 

In reading the English divines we must recollect that 
they were compelled to vindicate this Sacrament not only 
against the Romish figment, but with equal emphasis 
against the Zuinglian and Socinian degradation of the 
Sacrament into a bare memorial. Against this last-named 
reduction of the holy mystery they were called upon to 
assert strongly the reality and virtue of consecration in 
changing the Elements from their mere natural character 
into true and efficacious representatives of the Body and 
Blood of Christ, the appointed media for uniting Christ to 
the faithful recipients of these sacred emblems. 

If, as is now alleged, the Church of England and her 
greatest divines had taught the Sacramental theory which 
furnishes a new pretense for the revival of ancient idolatry 
— a new reason for worshiping God in the Symbols of His 
Presence and Power which is the very essence of heathen 
idolatry — surely the great Hooker would have heard of 
this teaching, and in his exhaustive account of the views 
which had been held concerning this Sacrament would not 
have omitted that one which as a loyal Churchman he was 
bound himself to hold. 

Leaving out of view the opinion attributed to Zuinglius, 
"that men should account of this Sacrament but only as 
of a shadow, destitute, empty, and void of Christ," he 
declares of the ' ' Real Presence " but three statements of 
doctrine then known to Christian people : Transubstantia- 


tion, Consubstantiation, and that of the Church of England 
which he so grandly sets forth. Of the fantastic Presence, 
which is neither of these three, but which talks so boast- 
fully of " substance" and "objective reality," he had never 
heard. It is true that in describing the two former he 
uses, as he was compelled to do, the very language by 
which the advocates of the Bennett doctrine now describe 
their theory. For the distinction which these advocates 
profess to make between their notion and the old recog- 
nized errors is impalpable and incapable either of verbal 
expression or of mental conception. And Aquinas, and 
after him Bellarmine, explain Transubstantiation in the 
very words used by the modern party in setting forth their 
doctrine; viz., that the Body of Christ is not "present after 
the manner of a Body, that is, in its visible form," but "it 
is present spiritually, that is, invisibly and by the power 
of the Spirit." (Aquinas cited in Oxford Catena, p. 66.) 
Can it be reasonably pretended that a distinct doctrine 
of the Eucharist, of which Hooker had never heard, was 
really held and taught by the leading divines in England 
before and in his time? As only these two perversions of 
the Sacrament were in the thoughts of men in that age, 
there was no need of guarding their language against the 
imputation of holding a falsehood so near of kin as is this 
new theory to that which they were exposing with abun- 
dant learning and with merciless logic. Therefore it is not 
difficult for an acute disputant like Sir Robert Phillimore 
to cull out of their writings numerous passages which seem 
to have that meaning, and so to construct a catena of 
seeming authorities for this poor fiction. Happily in every 
case of any theological value there is enough in context, or 
in the avowed purpose of the treatise, to disprove the 
inference, and to vindicate the memory of martyrs and 
theologians from the disgraceful imputation of converting 


a sublime mystery of our religion into a worse than heathen 

At the head of the list of English divines whom they 
thus calumniate these gentlemen place the name of Ridley, 
martyred for his rejection of the very doctrine for which 
this new theory is proposed as the equivalent. They have 
about as much authority for the rest as for Ridley. It 
will sufficiently expose the character and value of this 
catena to see how Ridley sustains the advocates who call 
him as a witness. 

Almost at the opening of his treatise on the Lord's 
Supper Ridley seems unconsciously to anticipate and refute 
this modern conceit. For he says, if "the matter of the 
Sacrament" is not bread, then we "must needs grant tran- 
substantiation," seeing that all learned men in England, so 
far as I know, both new and old, grant "there is but one 
substance." This is making short work of Mr. Wilber- 
force's theory of the "union" or "identity" of Christ 
with the elements. The martyr proceeds to state the 
question in a way which throws some light upon his con- 
ception of both the Sacraments: "If it is found that the 
substance of bread is the natural substance of the Sacra- 
ment, although for the change of the use, office, and dignity 
of the bread, the bread indeed is sacramentally changed 
into the body of Christ, as the water in Baptism is sacra- 
mentaUy changed into the fountain of regeneration, and yet 
the natural substance remains the same as it was before." 

It would be difficult to state more precisely the effect of 
consecration in giving new character and meaning to the 
material elements of both the Sacraments. The conclusion 
of the same passage is equally decided in its condemnation 
of the practice attendant upon the new theory, as it was 
and is attendant upon the old. "Then that Godly honor 
which is only due unto God the creator, and may not be 


done unto the creature without idolatry and sacrilege, is 
not to be done unto the Holy Sacrament." 

Ridley discusses briefly, but well, the question of " figura- 
tive language." "How vain then is it that some so 
earnestly say, as if it were an infallible rule, that in doc- 
trine and in the institution of the Sacraments Christ used 
no figures." But some say, if we thus admit figures in 
doctrine, then all the articles of our faith, by figures and 
allegories will shortly be transformed and unloosed. I say 
it is a like fault, and even the same, to deny the figure 
when the place so requires to be understood, as vainly to 
make that a figurative speech which is to be understood in 
its proper signification." He then illustrates the distinction 
by that famous determination of St. Augustine that so 
many of the words of our Lord in the sixth chapter of St. 
John must be understood figuratively. 

"It seems to command a wicked or ungodly thing; 
wherefore it is a figurative speech commanding to have 
communion and fellowship with Christ's passion." "Then 
surely Christ commanding His disciples in His last Supper 
to eat His Body and drink His Blood seemeth to command 
in sound of words as great, and even the same inconven- 
ience and ungodliness, as His words do in the sixth chapter 
of St. John; and therefore they must, even by the same 
reason, be likewise understood and expounded figuratively 
and spiritually, as St. Augustine did the other." 

After citing Chrysostom he mentions an argument of the 
Papists that unless we allow that the substance of the bread 
is gone we must admit "the absurdity of impanation," and 
adds: "What manifest falsehood is this, to say or mean 
that if the bread should remain still, then must follow the 
inconveniency of impanation? As though the very bread 
could not be a Sacrament of Christ's Body, as water is of 
Baptism, except Christ should unite the nature of bread 


to His nature in unity of person, and make of the bread 
God." Here again Ridley seems to have anticipated the 
new theory, but only to speak of it as a thing too extrava- 
gant to be supposed. Further on he quotes Tertullian: 
1 ' Jesus made the bread whieh He took and distributed to 
His disciples His Body, saying, "This is My Body;" that 
is to say, saith Tertullian, a "figure of My Body." Ridley 
adds: "In this place it is plain that according to Tertul- 
lian's exposition Christ meant not, by calling the bread His 
Body and the wine His Blood, that either the bread was 
His natural body or the wine His natural blood ; but He 
called them His Body and Blood because he would institute 
them to be unto us Sacraments, that is, holy tokens and 
signs of His Body and of His Blood; so that by them 
remembering and firmly believing the benefits procured to 
us by His Body, which was torn and crucified for us upon 
the Cross, and so with thanks receiving these Holy Sacra- 
ments according to Christ's institution, we might by the 
same be spiritually nourished and fed to the increase of all 
godliness in us." How like is this to that sentence in the 
Communion Service where Christ is declared to be "our 
spiritual food and sustenance in that Holy Sacrament ! " 
Ridley adds: "Origen, Hilary, St. Augustine, Ambrose, 
Basil, Gregory, Naziansen, and other old authors likewise 
call the Sacrament a figure of Christ's Body." Further 
on, quoting again Tertullian, who had said that "the bread 
was made a representation of His Body," Ridley says: 
"Now I pray you, what is it to say that Christ has made 
a representation by bread of His Body, but that Christ 
had instituted and ordained bread to be a Sacrament to 
represent unto us His Body?" It will be tedious and 
unnecessary to give more of the testimonies from the 
Fathers which the Reformer has collected. 

I had occasion to cite these same passages not long ago 


in vindication of the martyr, as well as like passages from 
Bishop Wilson and many others, and here is the best 
answer which a respectable advocate of the new theory 
could give: 

"But to avail for your argument it is not enough for 
Ridley or the Fathers to say that they are figures, types, 
tokens, or Sacraments; but they must also say that they 
are figures, types, tokens, and sacraments of an invisible 
part, which is not united to them, but which comes to the soul 
after reception." That is to say, when a man tells you, 
pointing to a portrait, "that is a good likeness — represen- 
tation — of my father," unless he is careful to add, "but 
my father is not actually in the portrait or united to it," 
we must understand him to mean that his father is in the 
portrait in propria persona ! 

I conclude this vindication of Ridley with a passage 
from Edward VI. 's Catechism, to which the martyr gave 
his dying testimony : 

"The supper is a certain thankful remembrance of the 
death of Christ ; forasmuch as the bread representeth His 
Body, betrayed to be crucified for us ; the wine standeth 
instead and place of His Blood plenteously shed for us. 
And even as by bread and wine our natural bodies are 
sustained and nourished, so by the Body, that is, the flesh 
and blood of Christ, the soul is fed through faith and 
quickened to the heavenly and godly life. ..... Faith 

is the mouth of the soul, whereby we receive this heavenly 
meat, full both of salvation and immortality dealt among 
us by the means of the Holy Ghost." 

With the same recklessness Bishop Andrews is cited, 
when in the very treatise from which his words are taken, 
the answer to Bellarmine, he was refuting this notion. In 
the following passage Andrews declares that "the holy 
symbols " are the Body and Blood of Christ in the same 


sense in which the Passover was His Body and Blood. 
The whole passage is in full and plain accord with Cath- 
olic and Scriptural teaching, and utterly irreconcilable 
with the new theory. 

"Nay it must be hocfacite. It is not mental thinking or 
verbal speaking, there must be actually somewhat done to 
celebrate this memory. That done to the holy symbols that 
ivas done to Him, to His body and His blood in ilie Passover; 
break the one, pour out the other, to represent how His 
sacred Body was broken, how His precious Blood was 
shed. And in corpus fractum and sanguis fusus there is 
immolatus. This is it in the Eucharist that answereth to 
the sacrifice in the Passover, the memorial to the figure. 
To them it was Hoc facite in Mei prstfigurationem, Do this 
in prefiguration of Me. To them prsenuntiare, to us an- 
nuntiare; there is the difference. By the same rules that 
theirs was, by the same may ours be termed a sacrifice. 
In rigour of speech neither of them; for to speak after 
the exact manner of Divinity, there is but one only sacri- 
fice, veri nominis, properly so called, that is, Christ's death. * 
And that sacrifice but once actually performed at His 
death, but ever before represented in figure from the be- 
ginning ; and ever since repeated in memory, to the world's 
end. That only absolute, all else relative to it, represent- 
ative of it, operative by it. The Lamb but once actually 
slain in the fullness of time, but virtually was from the 
beginning, is, and shall be to the end of the Avorld. That 
the center, in which their lines and ours, their types and 
our antitypes, do meet. While yet this offering was not, 
the hope of it was kept alive by the prefiguration of it in 
theirs. And after it is past, the memory of it is still kept 
fresh in mind by the commemoration of it in ours. So it 

* The Bishop uses the word "Sacrifice" as equivalent to " Propitiatory and 
Meritorious Sacrifice." 


was the will of God that so there might be with them a 
continual foreshadowing, and with us a continual showing 
forth, the 'Lord's death till He come again.' Hence it is 
that what names theirs carried, ours do the like ; and the 
Fathers make no scruple at it, no more need we. The 
Apostle in the tenth chapter compareth this of ours to the 
immolata of the heathen ; and to the Hebrews luthemus 
aram, matcheth it with the sacrifice of the Jews. And 
we know the rule of comparisons, they must be ejusdem 

"From the Sacrament is the applying the Sacrifice. 
The Sacrifice in general, pro omnibus. The Sacrament, in 
particular, to each several receiver, pro singulis. Wherein 
that is offered to us that was offered for us; that which is 
common to all, made proper to each one, while each taketh 
his part of it; and made proper by a communion and 
union, like that of meat and drink, which is most nearly 
and inwardly made ours, and is inseparable forever." 
(Sermon vii, on the Resurrection, quoted by Dr. Pusey 
in his letter to the Bishop of London, page 31.) 

I have given the foregoing passage at length, not only 
because it is a complete vindication of Andrews from the 
stigma which has been cast upon him as an authority for 
the new dogma, but because it is a very gratifying confir- 
mation of my previous teaching in the body of this work, 
in sections 2 and 5, of chapter xv. 

Overall, Cosin, Thorndike, Taylor, Beveridge, Wilson, 
and others, receive the same free handling. In regard 
to some of their extracts from these authors, the writers 
citing them are either unable to see, or do not care to 
see, that the passages which they parade refer usually to 
the Presence of Christ to the faithful when the Sacrament 
is complete, by the devout reception of the holy symbols, 
and not to the alleged actual Presence in or under the Ele- 


ments before reception. Sometimes indeed the reference 
is to that Representative Presence produced by consecra- 
tion. And of this Representative Presence many grand 
and lofty expressions are freely and properly used. "Glo- 
rious things are spoken of thee, O city of God." 

Again, these two kinds of Presence are often combined 
in the thoughts and in the language of the writers of every 
age. In the fervor of exhortation or of devotional com- 
position, they do not stop to distinguish with cold, logical 
precision the different shades of meaning which may be 
attached to their glowing words. And even if they had 
never explained themselves, it would be an outrage to 
put upon their language the gross and unnatural mean- 
ing involved in the theory of Transubstantiation or of 
Identity. For the most part they do amply explain and 
vindicate their meaning from this misconstruction. The 
passages which make this vindication in regard to the 
early Fathers have been triumphantly produced over and 
over again by the English divines. Now, strange to say, 
we have to employ the same method for the vindication 
of these very divines from a like imputation. 

Bishop Cosin, one of the authorities most relied upon 
for the new opinion, has happily explained his meaning. 
The following extract is from page 345 of the fifth vol- 
ume of Cosin's works, in the "Library of Anglo-Catholic 

"True it is that the Body and Blood of Christ are sacra- 
mentally and really (not feign edly) present, when the 
blessed bread and wine are taken by the faithful commu- 
nicants ; and as true it is also, that they are not present but 
only when the hallowed elements are so taken, as in another 
work (the History of Papal Transubstantiation) I have 
more at large declared. Therefore whosoever so receiveth 
them, at that time when he receiveth them, rightly doth he 


adore and reverence his Saviour there together with the 
Sacramental Bread and Cup, exhibiting his own Body and 
Blood unto them. Yet because that Body and Blood is 
neither sensibly present (nor otherwise at all present but 
only to them that are duly prepared to receive them, and 
in the very act of receiving them and the consecrated 
elements together to which they are sacramentally in that 
act united) the adoration is then and there given to Christ 
Himself, neither is nor ought to be directed to any exter- 
nal sensible object, such as are the blessed elements. But 
our kneeling, and the outward gesture of humility and 
reverence in our bodies, is ordained only to testify and 
express the inward reverence and devotion of our souls 
toward our blessed Saviour, who vouchsafed to sacrifice 
Himself for us upon the Cross, and now presenteth Him- 
self to be united sacramentally to us, that we may enjoy 
all the benefits of his mystical passion, and be nourished 
with the spiritual food of His blessed Body and Blood 
unto life eternal." 

* Every one must admire in this passage the clear, dis- 
criminating precision with which Cosin distinguishes the 
Catholic doctrine of the Presence from that poor conceit 
which a modern party dubs with the exclusive name of 

Very like to the above expression of doctrine is the 
following, taken from Cosin's "History of Papal Transub- 
stantiation," chapter iv, section 5: "And we also deny 
that the Elements still retain the nature of Sacraments 
when not used according to Divine institution, that is given 
by Chrisfs ministers and received by His people; so that 
Christ in the consecrated Bread ought not, can not be 
preserved to be carried about, because He is present only 
to the communicants." 

I will here present in connection the testimony of an old 



and of a recent English divine — Dr. Pusey quoting and 
adopting with full approval the views of Dr. Brevint. The 
decisive passage I am about to give from the letter to the 
Bishop of London proves either that the writer was prac- 
ticing the "Reserve" which is recommended by a portion 
of the party, or that at the date of this letter (1851) he 
had not "advanced" to the present position of that party. 
The Doctor quotes first some of the higher class of Romish 
writers, who maintain, in opposition to the new theory, that 
Christ "is not contained, as circumscribed or locally under 
the Sacrament;" and then, quoting St. Augustine, adds: 
' ' I can not think that these words, any more than those of 
St. Chrysostom, which are adduced controversially, imply 
any local adoration. I had no such thought in my mind. 
But believing that he was then in an especial manner pres- 
ent, I could not but think that we knelt, not only as 
receiving so great a Gift, but in reverence for His Pres- 
ence." In connection with this sentence he cites, as further 
expressive of his own view, the following from Dr. Brevint : 
"The second is an act of adoration and reverence, when* 
he looks upon that good hand that hath consecrated for 
the use of the Church the memorial of these great things. 
Since, by the special appointment of my God, these repre- 
sentatives are brought in hither for this Church, and among 
the rest for me, I must mind what Israel did when the cloud 
filled the tabernacle. I will not fail to worship God as 
soon as these Sacraments and Gospel-clouds appear in the 
sanctuary. Neither the ark, nor any clouds, were ever 
adored in Israel; but sure it is, the ark was considered 
quite otherwise than an ordinary chest, and the cloud 
than a vapour, as soon as God had hallowed them to 
be the signs of His Presence. Therefore, as the former 
people did never see the temple or the cloud, but that 
presently at that sight they used to throw themselves on 


their faces, so I will never behold these better and surer 
Sacraments of the glorious mercies of God, but as soon as 
I see them used in the Church to that holy purpose that 
Christ hath consecrated them to, I will not fail to remember 
my Saviour, whom these Sacraments do represent." (Letter, 
pages 54-5.) 

Jeremy Taylor, with his luxuriant imagination, his rap- 
turous devotion, his unequaled richness of language, might 
be expected to speak of this holy mystery in very lofty 
and unguarded terms. Accordingly the octavo volume 
issued at Oxford in 1855, composed of a Catena of author- 
ities alleged in support of this theory, furnishes many ex- 
tracts from this English Chrysostom, which would go as 
far to sustain the theory as any language which can be 
quoted from ancient or modern writers. Yet even Taylor 
sometimes descends from the sublimities of rhetoric to 
teach in plain and simple words. In his treatise on ' ' The 
Real Presence and Spiritual," from which many of these 
glowing extracts are taken, he in one place defines pre- 
cisely and briefly what he means by "The Real Presence." 
He says: "But we by the Real Spiritual Presence of 
Christ do understand Christ to be present, as the Spirit 
of God is present in the hearts of the faithful, by blessing 
and grace; and this is all which we mean besides the trop- 

It well illustrates the Spirit in which the Catena above 
mentioned has been constructed, that this decisive defini- 
tion, interpreting all the rest, has been carefully omitted. 
This passage, again, illustrates the utterly illusory nature 
of all the rhetorical and devotional language quoted from 
the Fathers and from our own divines, to prove the un- 
christian dogma imputed to them. And yet again the 
distinction here so precisely presented by Bishop Taylor 
between his conception of "the Real Presence" and "the 


Tropical and Figurative Presence," coupled with the exalted 
terms in which he speaks of either and of both in undistin- 
guished connection, beautifully illustrates the true sense of 
similar language employed by other writers. Generally it 
may be said that what Jeremy Taylor calls the " Tropical 
and Figurative Presence" preceding writers designate as 
the "Sacramental Presence," the "Mystical Presence," the 
"Presence in a Mystery," and such like. It is very inter- 
esting to see how cautiously Ridley adheres to these forms 
of expression in the conferences in which his accusers and 
judges were trying to entrap him. 

Thorndike and Overall seem to be more relied upon 
than any others to support the assertion that the Bennett 
doctrine was held by the English divines. And certainly, 
if we did not know the purpose for which they wrote, and 
the error against which they were contending, many of 
their expressions would seem to justify this appeal. We 
must recollect that in their day, as it has continued to be, 
the danger of the Church of England was principally 
from the rationalistic and spiritualistic impugners of all 
the externals of religion. These two parties, very opposite 
in some particulars, united in eviscerating from the sacra- 
ments ail power, mystery, and vitality. I have myself 
been present when, in an assembly of professed Christians 
at a so-called Communion, the Sacrament was explained 
by the officiating minister as similar to the custom of 
drinking wine to the memory of General Washington on 
his birthday! The spiritualistic party made religion to 
consist entirely of faith and feeling. 

To vindicate the dignity and reality of this Sacrament, 
and the Divine efficacy of consecration, Thorndike espe- 
cially is very strenuous in insisting upon the connection 
between the consecrated Elements and the Grace of the 
Sacrament. The Bread, he says, is the Body, and the 


Wine the Blood, not only as "significative, but exhibitory." 
As he properly argued, if the Elements are bare signs, to 
which no grace is adjoined, and if Christ is received by 
faith only, then He could be received by the same faith 
without the signs; and so the Sacrament may be entirely 
dispensed with. And this we see to have been the prac- 
tical result of the same vicious principle in our own day. 
Against this notion Thorndike proves the reality and effi* 
cacy of consecration in making the Elements to be the 
Body and Blood of Christ, representatively and effica- 
ciously. "And," as he adds, "what a gross thing it were 
to say that our Saviour took such care to leave His Church, 
by the act of His last will, a legacy which imports no more 
than that which they might at all times bestow upon them- 

Keeping in view this purpose of his argument ought 
be sufficient to clear Thorndike from the charge made 
against him. But he has been more explicit in relieving 
himself from the imputation. He, as well as Cosin, is very 
emphatic in his enunciation of a principle which I have 
dwelt upon at some length, and which is utterly irrecon- 
cilable with the theory for which he is quoted as authority. 
He strongly affirms the position that until the completion 
of the sacrament by the reception of the Elements there is 
really no sacrament. From a much longer passage to the 
same effect I take these words, "True it is indeed, inas- 
much as the appointment of our Lord Christ is not com- 
pletely executed by consecrating the Eucharist, but by 
respectively delivering and receiving it, you may truly say 
that by virtue of these words, 'Take, eat, this is my Body, 
this is my Blood,' that which every man receives becomes 
the Body and Blood to him that receives it." 

In another place Thorndike uses words which plainly 
interpret all the strong expressions about the Sacramental 


Presence in the Elements by virtue of consecration. ' ' So 
that the Body and Blood in the Sacrament turns to the 
nourishment of the body, whether the Body and Blood in 
the Truth turn to the nourishment or damnation of the 

In this sentence the writer uses " Sacrament" in contrast 
with "Truth" in the same sense in which St. Ambrose 
long before had used "Image" in contrast with "Truth," 
as in this passage which I take from Canon Trevor on The 
Eucharist : 

"Truly we offer, but so that we make a remembrance 
of His death. We offer Him always, or rather we offer a 
remembrance of His Sacrifice. The Shadow in the law, 
the Image in the Gospels, the Truth in the heavenly places. 
Of old a lamb was offered, a caif was offered; now Christ 
is offered. Here in image, there in truth, where He inter- 
cedes for us with the Father as our Advocate." (P. 212.) 

Every one must see that language like this interprets 
and plainly declares the intended meaning of the same 
authors when they employ language more rhetorical and 
figurative. In the same connection Canon Trevor says: 
"The language of Ambrose with respect to the sacrifice 
of Christ in the Sacrament is defined by His disciple St. 
Augustine, who often affirms that Christ is immolated in 
the Sacrament, but with this explanation subjoined : " 

"That is, the immolation of Christ is represented and a 
remembrance of His Passion is made." "The Flesh and 
Blood of this Sacrifice before the Advent of Christ was 
promised through victims of similitude. In the Passion 
of Christ it was exhibited in the very truth; after His Ascen- 
sion it is celebrated through a Sacrament of remembrance." 
(P. 213.) 

No one can read Thorndike's elaborate commentary on 
the Eucharistic Service, and not see how utterly foreign to 


his thought was this conceit now attempted to be bolstered 
up by his authority. He declares the effect of the conse- 
cration to be, "that the elements, by being deputed to 
become this Sacrament, begin to be what they were not, 
that is, visible signs, not only to figure the sacrifice of 
Christ's cross, but also to tender and exhibit the invisible 
grace which tJiey represent to them that receive" And he 
condemns the Church of Rome for altering the canon of the 
Mass, "on purpose that this Sacrament might not be called 
a figure of the invisible grace of it." And yet, he adds, 
"nothing can be more cross to this doctrine of the now 
Chu *ch of Rome than their own service ; " citing in proof 
these words of the present canon : " Ut nobis corpus fiat, 
dilectissimi Filii Tui Domini nostri'Jesu Christi." With 
great earnestness he denounces the sacrificial doctrine of 
the Roman Church, now so much insisted on by the new 
school in our Church. He maintains against this pernicious 
novelty that there is no pretense or expression of such a 
doctrine in the early Church. (See the whole passage 
in his treatise on "The Service of God in Religious 
Assemblies," Works, vol. i, Anglo-Catholic Library, pp. 

In like manner Bishop Nicholson has been misrepre- 
sented. In his account of the Sacraments he uses the very 
illustration of a Deed which Wilberforce and his follow- 
ers denounce as pure Calvinism. He says: "They are 
pledges to assure us of this grace. For the Sacrament is 
as it were a pawn left us by God in the hand of the min- 
ister to give us acquiescence and ground of confidence that 
the graces promised shall be surely performed. Of which 
that we doubt the less it is called a seal. For God, not 
content with the general offer of His promises, out of His 
mere mercy hath thought fit to seal them to every partic- 
ular believer, having a regard thereby to their infirmity. 


In an indenture we have the conditions agreed upon 
betwixt both parties set forth and represented, after sealed 
and delivered. A covenant God hath made with man for 
salvation and for grace, without which salvation can not be 
had; and by the Sacrament it hath pleased Him, as in a 
fair deed to represent it, to convey and make it over, to 
seal and deliver it unto us." 

In treating of The Supper he says : " That which is more 
material to know is the change of these (the Elements), 
which is wholly sacramental, not in substance, but in use. 
For they remain bread and wine still, such as before in 
nature, but consecrate and set apart to represent our 
Saviour's passion, and exhibit and seal to a worthy receiver the 
benefits of that passion." 

Referring to the "great disputes there are Hoiv Christ 
is present in the Sacrament," he makes a conciliatory attempt 
to resolve the various terms of theologians into a question 
of relation : "My intention is to put the fairest interpreta- 
tion upon different expressions and so reconcile exasperated 
brethren. That the Sacrament is in the predicament of rela- 
tion will be, I doubt not, easily granted me, and under that 
logical notion I would thus define the Eucharist: The 
Eucharist is a Sacrament instituted by Christ under the 
elements of bread and wine, to represent, exhibit, and seal 
the passion of Christ and the benefits thereof to a worthy 
communicant. In which definition we meet with all those 
things that are necessary to set forth the nature of a rela- 
tion." (Exposition of the Catechism, Lib. Ang. Cath. 
Theol., pp. 156, 178.) 

If our New-Light brethren would consent to have 
their pet words resolved into the terms of this definition, 
there would be an end of controversy with them on 
this subject. 

It is really refreshing to turn from the mistaken com- 


ments of these modern discoverers, who copy from each 
other garbled texts, and read the grand old authors to 
whom they so confidently refer us. Hammond, in his 
Practical Catechism, furnishes a good specimen of this 
refreshment. First, he illustrates the words of our Lord 
in the institution of the Eucharist by the circumstances 
of the Paschal feast. ' ' The Lamb that was drest in the 
Paschal Supper and set upon the table was wont to be 
called The Body of the Passover, or The Body of the 
Paschal Lamb, and Christ seems to allude to this phrase 
when he saith, This is my Body; as if He should say, 
The Paschal Lamb, and the Body of it, the memorial of 
deliverance out of Egypt, and type of my delivering 
myself to die for you, I will now have abrogated, and 
by this Bread which I now deliver to you I give or ex- 
hibit to you this other Passover, my own self, who am 
to be sacrificed (my Body which shall presently be deliv- 
ered to death) for you, that you may hereafter (instead 
of that other) retain and continue to posterity a memo- 
rial and symbol of me. This for the words (my Body), 
but then for the whole phrase or form of speech (This is 
my Body), it seems to be answerable to and substituted in- 
stead of the Paschal form (This is tJie bread of affliction 
which our fathers ate in Egypt) ; not that it is that iden- 
tical bread which they then ate, but that it is the celebra- 
tion of that anniversary feast which was then instituted, as 
when in ordinary speech we say on Good Friday and 
Easter-day, This day Christ died, and This day Christ 
rose, when we know it was so many hundred years since 
He died or rose ; which example is adapted to this point 
in hand by St. Augustine in his Epistles." 

He afterward shows that "the whole action or adminis- 
tration, i. e., do you all that I have done in your presence, 
take Bread, break, bless it, give it to others, and so com- 


memorate me : the breaking and distributing, taking and 
eating this Bread, is the Body of Christ." 

Hammond then learnedly discusses the relation of the 
heathen and Jewish sacrifices to this Sacrament, as indi- 
cated by St. Paul, and concludes : ' ' Thus, the Cup of bless- 
ing which we bless, or (as the Syriack), the Cup of Praise, 
i. e., the chalice of Wine, which is in the name of the people 
offered up by the Bishop or Presbyter to God with Lauds 
and Thanksgivings, i. e., that whole Eucharistical action 
(and that exprest to be the action of the people as well as 
the Presbyter by their drinking of it) is the communica- 
tion of the Blood of Christ, a service of theirs to Christ, 
a sacrifice of thanksgiving, commemorative of that great 
mercy and bounty of Christ in pouring out His Blood for 
them, and a making them (or a means ordained by Christ to 
make them) partakers of the Blood of Christ, not of the 
guilt of shedding it, but, if they come worthily thither, of 
the benefits that are purchased by it, viz. , the washing away 
of sin in his Blood : so in like manner the breaking and eating 
of the Bread is a communication of the Body of Christ, a 
sacrifice commemorative of Christ's offering up his Body 
for us, and a making us partakers, or communicating to us 
the benefits of that Bread of Life, strengthening and giv- 
ing us grace. And both these parts of each part of this 
Sacrament put together are (parallel to what was said of 
the Israelites and Gentiles) a mutual confederation betwixt 
us and the crucified Saviour ; on our parts an acknowledg- 
ing Him for our God and worshiping Him, and on His 
part the making over to us all the benefits of his Body and 
Blood (i. e., his death), grace and pardon, to sanctifie and 
to justifie us." 

A little further on he says: "This breaking, taking, eating 
of the Bread, this whole action is the real communication 
of the Body of Christ to me, and is therefore by some an- 


cient writers called by a word which signifies the participa- 
tion (communication and participation being the same, only 
one referred to the giver, the other to the receiver), the 
very giving Christ's Body to me ; that as verily as I eat 
the bread in my mouth, so verily God in heaven bestows 
on me, communicates to me, the Body of the crucified Sa- 
viour." (Pages 401 to 412.) The whole treatment of the 
subject is profound and exhaustive. I quote from the 
original edition published in 1662. The copy I have once 
belonged to Thomas Lewis, of Augusta County, Virginia, 
and was probably brought to Virginia by some worthy 
Churchman nearly two hundred years ago. If our people 
could be nourished with such solid food, they would be in 
little danger of being "carried about with every wind of 
doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, 
whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Eph. iv, 14.) 

An ad captandum argument, strongly urged by Wilber- 
force and his followers, is to represent the Catholic doctrine 
of the Eucharist as pure Calvinism, adopted by the En- 
glish clergy, in simple ignorance, from the Genevan reformer. 
Now as these gentlemen have triumphantly cited Cosin as 
a witness and an authority, let us hear his testimony on 
this point. In the work before quoted (volume iv, page 
1*67, Anglo-Catholic Theology) he says : 

"Now because great is the fame of Calvin (who sub- 
scribed the Augustan Confession and that of the Switzers) 
let us hear what he writ and believed concerning this sacred 
mystery. His words, in his Institutions and elsewhere, 
are such, so conformable to the style and mind of the ancient 
FatJiers, that no Catholic reformer would desire to use any 
other." He then quotes from Calvin abundantly to prove 
this assertion. 

What reliance can be placed upon the pretended 
authorities of a party which ostentatiously puts forward 


Beveridge as a witness for its fable, and as an advocate 
for "Eucharistic adoration," when just a casual turning 
to his dogmatic works, as it happened to me, presents us 
with testimony after testimony to the exact contrary? 

In his "Oratio Canonica ante Synodum" Beveridge men- 
tions "Eucharistic adoration" as one of the worst corrup- 
tions of Popery ! In the syllabus of a formal discourse on 
Idolatry he divides that sin into two classes; 1. Heathen- 
ish; 2. Romish saints, Eucharist, images! (Thesaurus 
Theologicus, volume iv, page 394.) In several other ex- 
positions of the blessed Sacrament itself he says, in one 
place: "1. What it is in itself — Bread (1 Cor. x, 16); 
2. What it represents unto us — the Body of Christ. Msec 
oblatio est figura corporis et sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu 
CfiristL St. Ambrose." And a little further on : "Observe, 
2. Eat, not take and lay up; not take and carry about; 
break, not take and worship; but take and eat." {Ibid., 
volume iii, page 114.) Again, in another place: "What 
are we to understand by these words, This is my Bodyf 

1. Negatively, not that it is really the Body of Christ, or 
transubstantiated. This, 1. Is not grounded on Scripture ; 

2. Contrary to the Scriptures ; 3. It takes away the nature 
of the Sacrament, there being no sign. II. Positively. 
This is my Body; that is, the Sign and Sacrament of my 
Body. (See Gen. xvii, 10, 11; Exod. xii, 11.) Hoc est 
corpus meum, id est, figura corporis mei (Tertullian). Non 
enim Dominus dubitavit dicere, hoc est corpus meum, cum sig- 
num daret corporis sui (St. Augustine)." Again, "It is 
Bread we eat and Wine we drink in the Sacrament, not 
the real Body and Blood of Christ." And yet again: "It 
is a Sacrament wherein, under the outward Signs of Bread 
and Wine, Christ is signified to us. The end : to remem- 
ber Christ's death. To represent it. To offer it. To 
convey it too. To seal it, not signum only, but sigillum." 


And in an explication of 1 Cor. xi, 29: "1. What by 
eating and drinking? Not the Body and Blood of Christ, 
but Sacramental Bread and Wine. ... 2. What by not 
discerning the Lord's Body? Non discernens a cibo com- 

muni. S. Hieron Ignorant Receivers 

3. That know not the nature of the Sacrament, even that 
it is an ordinance instituted by God, wherein, under the 
outward Signs of Bread and Wine, Christ, with all the 
benefits of His death and passion, is represented, sealed, 
and conveyed to the worthy receiver." (lb., pages 116, 
121, 125, 128.) 

The whole teaching of Beveridge is to the effect of these 
brief extracts. In like manner some devotional expres- 
sions of Bishop Wilson have been misconstrued into the 
very opposite of his formal teaching in his sermons. And 
in every instance that which is said by the cited authority 
of the communication of Christ to the faithful receiver, 
when the Sacrament is complete, is, with strange confusion 
of thought, referred by these advocates to their fancied 
communication of Christ to the Elements, while yet the 
Sacrament is inchoate — the Divine command not yet 

8. These two aspects of a common theory, 

§ 8. The Two . . r •"■_ _ . n 

Theories de Transubstantiation and Identity or Sacra- 

modo a Sad Tki- tt . 

fmng with a mental Union, seem to me to be a very sad 

Holy Mystery. . n . . . • . 

trming with a holy mystery. Jbor what is 

the Divine command which is thus travestied and played 

upon ? Look at the words of Institution : Take, eat. Drink 

ye all of this. This do in remembrance of Me. Do what ? Is 

any promise or blessing annexed to the mere breaking of 

the bread while saying these or any other words? Is not 

the communication of Christ to us, the partaking of Christ 

by us, the substance and meaning of the whole transaction? 

Is not the eating of the Bread, the drinking of the Wine, 


the precise Letter of the Command? Is not the par- 
taking of Christ the essential Spirit of that command? 

In an age of growing superstition and ignorance men 
were not content to rest in the Divine power to give the 
promised blessing whenever the Divine command is 
obeyed, but must supplement the sublime simplicity of the 
Mystery by a little humanly-conceived machinery. And 
so, to assist the Divine Omnipotence in fulfilling His word, 
to make it easier for Christ to impart Himself to His faith- 
ful people, the Manner, the intermediate process by which 
this miracle of grace is accomplished, must be reasoned out 
by human wit, and reasoned out in such a way as to afford 
a resting-place for the superstitious weakness of the times. 
So the familiar form of speech used by our Lord in desig- 
nating the Symbols of His Body and Blood was perverted 
into the degrading conceit of an actual union of Himself 
with these simple Elements; and this corruption was 
presently, with more exact logic, developed into Transub- 

Happily, Providentially, the gross fiction was met 
and refuted in the very age in which it was proposed. 
Ratramn on the Continent, the old Saxon Homily for 
Easter, about a century later in England, with effective 
logic and abundant learning, rebuked the novelty and vin- 
dicated the Holy Mystery. But, as Alexander Knox has 
well said, the corruption was in accordance with the spirit 
of the age and the refutation against that spirit, and so the 
miserable falsehood prevailed, accumulating around itself 
other and kindred corruptions. All the modern questions 
and confusions on this subject come out of this original 
departure from the Divine institution. 

All our great Divines mourn over this fatal departure. 
Jeremy Taylor, in the beginning of his treatise on "The 
Real Presence and Spiritual," says : "We may say in this 


mystery to them that curiously ask what or how it is, 
'Mysterium est;' 'It is a Sacrameut and a mystery/ By 
sensible instruments it consigns spiritual graces; by the 
creatures it brings us to God ; by the body it ministers to 
the spirit. It was happy with Christendom when she" 
was content "to believe the thing heartily and not to 
inquire curiously." 

Archbishop Bramhall, in his answer to de la Militiere, 
is very emphatic in his condemnation of this unhappy 
questioning de modo : " No sooner was this bell rung out, 
but as if Pandora's box had been newly set wide open, 
whole swarms of noysom Questions and Debates did fill 
the schools." After giving a long and mortifying list of 
these subtle questions, and stating the simple fact of the 
Presence — neque Con., neque Sub., neque Trans. — he con- 
cludes : "This was the belief of the Primitive Church, this 
was the faith of the ancient Fathers, who were never 
acquainted with these modern questions de modo, which 
edifie not, but expose Christian religion to contempt." 

A singular illustration of the continued fecundity of this 
unhappy disputation de modo has just appeared in a pam- 
phlet, which undertakes to demonstrate the manner of 
Christ's Presence, as in the elements, by a bran-new inter- 
pretation of the Catechism. This new version is founded 
upon a new mathematical axiom, that a part is equal to 
the whole. Wilberforce and . his followers multiply the 
two parts of this Sacrament, as defined in the Catechism, 
into three. This writer reduces them into one, and essays 
the astounding logical feat of proving that one of two 
parts of a thing is the whole, and that the other part is 
something else ! Doubtless there will continue to be new 
items to be added to Bramhall's catalogue of "noysom 
questions" growing out of this unhappy tendency to ex- 
plain the manner of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist. 


In denning and refining, trying to construct a dogma 
which will suit them, and yet differ sufficiently from that 
of Rome to save their consciences, the advocates of the 
theory of "Identity" are careful to tell us that the Body 
of Christ which is in the Elements is not that natural Body 
which was born of the Virgin, nor that spiritual Body 
which is now in heaven, yet it is a true, real, and substan- 
tial Body. A Body which is neither in heaven, nor on 
earth, nor under the earth, is indeed a wonderful creation 
of human ingenuity. I sometimes wonder whether these 
enthusiastic brethren do really believe this shadowy fiction, 
or whether they have not persuaded themselves that it is 
necessary for the due and effective influence of religion on 
the common run of men to have something for superstition 
to feed on; and that to enable the now pure Church to 
which they belong to compete successfully in the race for 
popular power with Romanism and other isms she must 
furnish to the vulgar fancy at least one idol for easy worship. 
It is the same natural and rationalistic conception which 
induced Aaron to yield to the clamorous solicitations of 
the people, and make the golden calves for the better satisfac- 
tion of their devotional feelings. If this is the thought and 
the purpose of our brethren, they have strangely forgotten 
the divine and holy mission of the Church of God to be 
the Witness and the Keeper of The Truth. Departures 
from that truth there will ever be in every possible direc- 
tion, and especially in those directions in which the mere 
affections of nature do most strongly lead. The forms 
of religion that have been most skillfully molded in 
conformity with these corrupt leadings will always com- 
mand the popular suffrage and be able to wield the 
controlling power of numbers. For in reality the bodies 
which have adopted these corruptions are but a part of the 
world itself, in one of its moods, taking on the guise and 


aspect of religion. But it is the sublime calling and 
charge of God's Holy Church, whether composed of few 
or many, to keep the truth in uncorrupt integrity, to bear 
witness to the truth among all peoples and in every gen- 
eration to the end of the world, for the real healing of the 

9. Let us briefly sum up the testimony to the truth 
1 9. recapitu- which the Church is commissioned to bear 
upon this important subject — The Sacra- 
meDt of the Body and Blood of Christ. 

We learned before that "by the word Sacrament" the 
Church means an "outward and visible sign of an inward 
and spiritual grace given unto us." The "inward and 
spiritual grace" is not said to be given to the Elements, or 
united to them "by a law of identity," or sent down upon 
the altar to be recognized by the eye of faith. The sole 
expressed relation of the "inward and spiritual grace" is 
that it is to be "given to us," the believing partakers of 
the consecrated elements, according to our Lord's words, 
"Take, eat; this is my Body." The definition goes on to 
tell us that the Sacrament is both "a means whereby we 
receive" "the inward and spiritual grace given unto us" 
and "a pledge to assure us thereof." Here the Church 
happily distinguishes, emphatically declaring the grace of 
consecration whereby these inert substances are made the 
instruments of producing supernatural effects. And she 
further declares that they are "the means" whereby we 
receive the spiritual grace which they were constituted to 
represent, and which comes directly to us from the Fountain 
of all grace. They are, moreover, '-'a pledge to assure us 
thereof;" that is, to make us certain, if we believe God's 
word, that as surely as we have received the visible sign, 
so surely we have received the spiritual grace. The same 
logical formulary goes on to tell us that "the outward part 


or sign of the Lord's Supper" is "Bread and Wine, which 
the Lord hath commanded to be received." "The inward 
part or thing signified" is the Body and Blood of Christ, 
which "are spiritually taken and received by the faithful in 
the Lord's Supper." So the act of the believer receiving 
is ever made a part of "the outward and visible sign" and 
the essential condition of "the inward and spiritual grace." 
This figment of "Identity" destroys the nature of a 
Sacrament, as Transubstantiation does. A Sacrament is 
the consecration of an outward and visible .thing to be the 
symbol of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us. 
By this pretended "law of identity" the symbol and the 
gift are combined into one. The symbol does not represent 
the gift and convey it, but contains it. The spiritual grace 
is first given to the symbol. As I have shown, this theory 
of the manner of Christ's Presence is not only unwarranted, 
but is a flagrant departure from the institution it professes 
to illustrate. According to that institution and to the 
precise definition of it given by the Church, the especial 
Presence of Christ which belongs to this Sacrament can only 
be in the actual partaking of the consecrated emblems 
according to His command. They have been consecrated 
to be the instruments of conveying Christ to the believer 
when they are received. Only in the reception, when the 
command is obeyed, can this promised effect be produced. 
Then only is the Sacrament which Christ ordained com- 
plete when our duty and His promise are brought together in 
one. Then Christ fulfills His promise and becomes "our 
spiritual food and sustenance in that Holy Sacrament." 
Then we may adore Him as truly, mystically, and spirit- 
ually Present, uniting Himself to us. We must not adore 
Him in the Elements, for He is not in them ; they are but 
the material instruments used by His grace to give Himself 
to us, humbly obeying His command ; they are the " means" 


to convey to us this great gift, and the sensible "pledge" 
to assure us thereof. 

It is needful for the due apprehension of this blessed 
mystery to keep clearly in mind the distinction, to which 
I have before adverted, between the Representative 
character of the symbols — the Consecrated Elements — and 
the actual communication of Christ to the faithful communi- 
cant. And if this protracted examination can result in 
bringing this distinction more clearly to the mind of be- 
lievers it will not have been altogether in vain. 

By Consecration the Elements are changed from com- 
mon bread and wine into true Representatives of the 
Body and Blood of Christ. The Fathers, our standard 
divines, and the clergy and laity of this day, properly 
call these representatives by the names of the things they signify, 
in accordance with the common use of language. It is 
therefore altogether proper to say that Christ is Present 
on the Altar by these His Representatives, the appointed 
symbols of His Body and Blood. 

When the Sacrament is complete, by the doing of that 
which the institution commands and requires — the feeding 
upon these consecrated symbols — then there is another and 
higher kind of Presence, a Presence real, spiritual, and 
substantial — Christ giving Himself to the faithful Com- 
municant, as a consequence and the perpetuation of the 

This twofold Presence — representative by the consecra- 
tion of the Elements, and actual by the communication of 
Himself to the faithful receiver — satisfies and explains all 
the expressions quoted by Romanists from the Fathers, 
and by Sir Robert Phillimore and others from them and 
from the great divines of the English Church, and recon- 


It is a vain and profitless exercise to quote from the 
Fathers, or from our standard English divines, isolated 
passages which seem to have a Romish sense, or that modi- 
fication of the same sense proposed by Mr. Bennett and 
his coadjutors, and rebutting these by other passages from 
the same authors expressing an entirely different meaning, 
without taking pains to find out the general scope and 
character of the writing thus abused. It is amusing as 
well as instructive oftentimes to trace up to the authors 
from which they were originally taken these stock quota- 
tions quoted and requoted by a long succession of contro- 
versial writers relying upon each other, and find that the 
passages in their proper connection are altogether innocent 
of the meaning they have been put forward to sustain. It 
is an acknowledged canon of interpretation that figurative 
language, however copious, must be construed in the sense. 
of plain and unfigurative language used by the same 
writers. No writer can be fairly judged of except by the 
general purport of his work. The Scripture has been 
wrested- to intolerable meanings by this use of isolated 
passages, by the neglect to read every part in the light 
of the "proportion of faith." So it must be with every 
written composition. 

How worse than idle it is, for instance, to try to make 
St. Augustine speak in the sense of one or the other of 
these parties, by the quotation of any number of passages 
which seem to have either of those meanings, when he has 
so explicitly informed us that this language is figurative 
and has no such meaning, and that in his time and before 
no person was "so silly" as to give to it any such meaning! 

The fair and candid application of the principle of inter- 
pretation just referred to, that a writer is to be judged of 
by the general tenor of his work and not by isolated ex- 
pressions, and the clear recognition of that double Presence 


above mentioned — Representative in the Symbols, Real 
and Substantial in the Communion of the faithful — will, 
I am sure, explain and reconcile the seeming contradic- 
tions in all the standard Divines of the Church, earlier 
and later, on the subject of the Eucharist, and effectually 
vindicate their intelligence and their memory from the 
aspersions of the depravers of this Holy Sacrament in. 
every direction. 



Under stress of reason and argument, the leading champions 
in this country of the Phillimore dictum have very emphatically 
denied that the Eucharistic Presence in which they believe is a 
Local Presence. Under like stress in England, Canon Liddon 
seems to have denied any Local Presence in the Eucharistic 
Elements. In one of the letters drawn out by Mons. Capel, the 
Canon says, " So in the next quotation, the prepositions 'beneath' 
and ( in ' must be abandoned if they are supposed seriously to 
define a local relation between the consecrated elements and 
the Eucharistic gift." 

This denial that the assumed Presence is local appears to me 
to scale the heights of an irreverent play upon sacred words. 
A Real Presence, in the Elements, which is not local, is 
simply a contradiction in terms. It is an affirmation and a 
denial of the same thing. By thus stripping the words of all 
sense and meaning they become blank words, and the formula 
they compose is a blank formula, and expresses nothing. The 
only use to which such a blank formula can be put is to make 
it serve as a rallying cry for party, and the starting-point of 
any depravement of the Holy Sacrament which it insults. 

As long as this empty formula is retained and insisted on, it 
is not the less but the more dangerous for this emptiness. For 
the human mind can not thus be mocked. If men receive this 
formula, even as a harmless thing, by the necessity of the 
mind's action, they must put a meaning into it. And any 
possible meaning of such a formula is mischievous, untrue, and 
a fatal corruption of the Sacrament. These same disclaimers 
and abjurations of offensive and carnal meanings, in the Romish 
doctrine of the Eucharist, have been made over and over again 
by the more creditable Divines of that Communion. But the 
dogma remains, to be the seed-bed of noxious errors, and to be 
the warrant for forms of worship hardly differing from heathen 



idolatry, and subversive of the first principles of Christian 

In striking contrast with this confusion and contradiction, 
the Church doctrine of the Eucharist dwells upon the Local 
Presence. The efficacious Symbols of the Body and Blood of 
Christ, memorials of his sacrificial death and redeeming love, 
are upon the Altar. The Elements have been changed, by the 
act of consecration, into those efficacious Symbols, and the faith- 
ful are exhorted to "draw near with faith," not to adore 
Christ in the Elements, but to " take this Holy Sacrament to 
your comfort;" to receive these appointed Symbols, and in 
worthily receiving them to receive Christ Himself. 

That Canon Liddon is in substantial accord with this doc- 
trine of the Church is evidenced by another more grateful 
utterance. Commenting upon these words of one of his critics, 
" When God's Minister is giving the bread God is giving the 
Lord's Body," he inquires, "Is the gift of the bread the actual 
means whereby the Lord's Body is given, or is the Lord's Body 
given quite independently? If the former, he and I are not 
likely to differ much." 

As far as I know, all Churchmen, except the maintainers of 
the Phillimore dictum, hold, in the very words of Mr. Liddon, 
that " the gift of the bread is the actual means whereby the 
Lord's Body is given." The reception of the consecrated Bread 
and Wine — the Bepresentative Body and Blood of Christ — is 
coincident with the spiritual reception of Christ himself, and 
is "the means whereby" we receive Him. The Phillimore dic- 
tum, on the contrary, makes the gift of the Bread and Wine to 
be, not "the means whereby" we receive Christ, but the very 
gift of Christ himself, inexplicably confused and mingled with 
these Elements, in some unimaginable, and to my mind, profane 
and revolting union. 

If instead of holding on to this mischievous formula, now 
by their own admissions reduced to emptiness, these earnest 
brethren in both countries would ingenuously confess that in the 
reaction from a cold and rationalistic theology, and in the fervor 
of an enthusiastic temperament, they had made a mistake, which 
the healthy process of searching examination has removed, they 
would give peace and assurance to the Church, and secure 
for themselves the grateful commendation of the memhprs of 
Christ's kingdom. 






111 Thomson Park Drive 
Cranberry Township, PA 16066 

. '1 I